Zellers to return online and in Hudson’s Bay stores

Leaning heavily on nostalgia, feature categories will include household items, small appliances, toys and pet accessories.

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The last two Zellers holdout stores were shuttered in 2019 after a nearly century-long presence in Canada, and Zellers briefly sprung to life as a pop-up in two Hudson’s Bay stores in 2021. Now, HBC is planning to once again revive the retailer.

Coming in 2023, Zellers will be re-launched by HBC – which acquired the banner in the late 70s – leveraging its network of “prime brick-and-mortar locations” to create a section within its stores as it expands its footprint in major Canadian cities.

But while there will be a physical presence, HBC is approaching this a digital-first play, marked by a new Zellers ecommerce platform.

Leaning heavily on nostalgia, Zellers and Zellers.ca will deliver a digital-first shopping journey, while also introducing a refreshed identity and a unique product assortment for families at “everyday value,” according to the company.

Feature anchor categories at launch will include, housewares and home décor, furniture, small appliances, toys and pet accessories. It will also introduce a design-led, value-driven private brand. The assortment and category offer will grow throughout the year, including the eventual introduction of apparel.

“Spanning generations, people hold distinct connections to Zellers through shared experiences with family and friends, and we look forward to building on that in the future,” according to Adam Powell, chief business officer, Zellers, who adds that the retailer occupies a special place in Canadians’ hearts and minds, especially it’s “where the lowest price is the law” ethos.

The launch announcement comes amidst record inflation, a near 40-year high in the country, which hit 7.6% in July, according to yesterday’s Statistics Canada report, marking the first time in a year that the rate had actually decreased from the month prior.