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Opinion: Zellers is coming back and I'm excited

Do you remember the slogan "The lowest price is the law?" Zellers closed in Coquitlam's biggest mall a decade ago. Now Hudson's Bay Co. wants to bring it back.
Zellers Coquitlam Ryan W.
Zellers closed in Coquitlam Centre mall a decade ago. Now Hudson's Bay Company wants to bring back the iconic brand.

Shopping in Coquitlam is increasingly diverse with a mix of big box stores, like Ikea, and small independents such as Soul Bite Foods.

With Canada's retail sector undergoing a seismic shift, some big-name stores such as Sears and Target shut in Coquitlam's biggest mall.

But when Zellers closed down at Coquitlam Centre there was genuine sadness, especially among those who used to eat at the lunch counter.

Now multiple news outlets are reporting that the Hudson's Bay Co. is bringing back the iconic store it shut down a decade ago.

Retailer Insider is reporting that Zellers will be reintroduced into some stores in the store-within-a-store format at some of the larger Hudson's Bay retailers.

It's not known if Zellers will be coming back to Coquitlam Centre after 10 years away, but those nostalgic for the brand will be able to purchase items on an online store.

According to Retail Insider, the store expansion will involve opening Zellers locations across Canada.

Nostalgia for Zellers

Hudson’s Bay told Retail Insider that it would leverage its “nationwide network of prime brick-and-mortar Hudson’s Bay locations as it expands its footprint in major cities across the country."

What I remember about Zellers is the affordable prices and it was my go-to store for small housewares, children's clothing and toys.

Now multiple retailers have entered the marketplace offering reasonable prices, including popular dollar stores, while the thrift behemoth Value Village has expanded in the Tri-Cities, with a new store in Port Coquitlam.

The retail sector has made dramatic changes since the pandemic, including adding more self-serve cashiers, opening e-commerce businesses and using social media to create brand awareness.

There's so much change that people, like myself, may be wishing for a bit of something old and familiar.

I remember buying makeup as a teen at Zellers and many of my peers worked at the Zellers in Burnaby, at the former Middlegate mall.

Hudson's Bay Co. appears to be taking notice of these trends and is hoping nostalgia for Canadian brands of yesteryear will bring people to their store.

Housewares and toys

Retail Insider says the new Zellers will sell housewares and home décor, furniture, small appliances, toys and pet accessories.

Clothing will also be introduced along with other categories and the company is hoping to create a fan-base for its own private label brand.

CBC reports that the store that coined the phrase "The Lowest Price is the Law" could be rolled out into Canadian stores as early as next year.

It's hard to know whether a store that closed a decade ago will appeal to millennials.

But for baby boomers who grew up going to Zellers, it may be a fun way to re-live their youth.

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