People in Canada unimpressed with Zellers relaunch and wonder what hype was about

Mar 27 2023, 8:36 pm

Zellers made its long-awaited return to the Canadian retail scene in March with a new shop-in-shop format in The Bay locations across Canada, but a few days after the much-hyped resurrection of the brand, it kind of feels like the euphoria has faded to a sense of disappointment.

People formed long lines in malls like Erin Mills Town Centre and Scarborough Town Centre for the chance to feed their nostalgia for the defunct department store “where the lowest price is the law,” though some are saying that the well-known Zellers slogan no longer applies to the revived iteration of the brand.

blogTO reader Matthew Rozak vented his frustration via email, stating that he believes “The prices at the Zellers are way overinflated.”

He sends links explaining that one chair is listed for $175 CAD on Zellers’ website, but on the Kmart Australia website, what appears to be the exact same chair is listed for $79 AUD, which converts to around $71 CAD.

Both products appear practically identical, and are both sold under the same name of “upholstered timber chair.” The only noticeable difference is the roughly $100 price discrepancy.

“Zellers reopening was more of an expansion of Kmart to Canada than about reviving Zellers,” vents Rozak. “Will this be another Target Canada failure, as they are already way overpriced relative to where it’s coming from?” he asks.

Like every botched reboot of your favourite childhood movies, the revival doesn’t quite match the nostalgia for some shoppers. Some were disappointed to learn — despite it being well-known for months — that the department store returned only in a limited format.

Underwhelmed customers seemed to show up more out of curiosity and nostalgia than an actual need to buy goods.

Others just expressed general, nonspecific disappointment at the Zellers revival.

Even the much-touted return of Zellers’ food (but served in food trucks instead of the in-store restaurants you fondly remember) fell flat with some.

Food trucks running out of food was not an isolated event, and even Zellers’ official account shared photos of shuttered trucks.

Love it, hate it, or entirely lukewarm about it, Zellers is now back in business across Canada.

Jack LandauJack Landau

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