Zellers, the unsightly step-sister of popular US department store Target, hopes to make a comeback in 2023, nearly a decade after shuttering most of its rundown locations.
The Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns Zellers, said the company plans to introduce a new online store and expand its brick-and-mortar presence in select Hudson’s Bay departments stores across the country early next year.
Zellers Ltd. was founded in 1928 by Walter P. Zeller in London, Ontario. Zeller relaunched the brand in 1931 after acquiring fourteen Canadian locations of the failed Schulte-United chain. Hudson’s Bay Company purchased the company in 1978.
In the late 1990s, the brand reached its peak with around 350 stores before losing ground to US retailer Walmart, who had recently entered the country and offered shoppers lower prices and cleaner stores.
In 2011, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced that most of its remaining Zellers leases would be sold to Target, a new player in Canada’s retail space, resulting in the closing of most stores by 2013.
By September 2019, Zellers’ Toronto and Ottawa locations were operating as these weird liquidation centres for Hudson’s Bay. They did not resemble traditional Zellers stores and simply used the Zellers name. Both locations closed in late January 2020.