Hudson’s Bay recently announced that Zellers is coming back in the form of pop-up stores, and an online store.
You can see my photos of Zellers when it largely closed back in 2012. I also did a photo essay when Target left Canada.
On January 18, 2023, I was interviewed by CBC Radio’s The Homestretch in Calgary to talk about my photos of the Zellers closure, the sign I took, and what I think of the new stores opening.
In the past year, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced that Zellers was not viable for them anymore, and that Target Corporation would be taking over its lease agreements (though not the Zellers brand or company itself). This post documents a brief history of the establishment of Zellers decades ago, specifically in my hometown of Saint John, and its disappearance from Calgary where I now live.
Zellers began in 1931 as a “store for thrifty Canadians” with the purchase of 16 Canadian locations from a U.S. retailer. Within 25 years, Zellers had 60 stores. Like many retailers, the chain initially operated only in the downtowns of cities. It wasn’t until 1960 when Zellers opened its first suburban location.
One early Zellers location was Store No. 3 on King Street in Saint John back in the 1950’s. Credit goes to Hudson’s Bay Company Heritage Services for sending me this photo along with these details about the store: Continue reading