HBC to relaunch Zeller’s
TORONTO – HBC will bring back the iconic Canadian banner Zellers sometime early next year, first as an e-commerce site before opening an as yet unspecified number of in-store galleries inside brick-and-mortar Hudson’s Bay locations in major cities across the country.
In a statement, the parent company to both Hudson’s Bay and its digital arm – thebay.com – said Zellers and Zellers.ca “will deliver a digital-first shopping journey that taps into the nostalgia of the brand Canadians know and love, while introducing a refreshed identity and a unique and exciting product assortment for families at everyday value.”
Anchor categories at launch will include, housewares and home décor, furniture, small appliances, toys, and pet accessories and the introduction of a design-led, value-driven private brand. The assortment and category offer will grow throughout the year, including the introduction of apparel.
It should be noted at one time Zeller’s was a significant player on the Canadian furniture, mattress and major appliance retail scene – particularly through the four decades following the Second World War. The brand went out of business in 2013 when HBC sold most of its existing Zellers to Target, when the U.S. discounter launched its ultimately failed bid to enter the Canadian market.
At its peak, Zellers was perhaps this country’s leading discount department store.
“We know how special Zellers is in the hearts and minds of people in Canada. ‘Where the lowest price is the law’ was a calling card, which has helped Zellers establish itself as more than a retail destination, but a place to build and support community,” Zellers chief business officer Adam Powell said.
“Zellers is a brand deeply rooted in the Canadian experience. 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,” he said.
Zellers was founded in 1931 by Walter P. Zeller with its first store in London, Ontario. What is now HBC acquired the company in 1978. At its peak, Zeller’s operated some 350 stores across the country with annual sales of more than $400 million annually. HBC closed the last two remaining Zellers stores in 2020.