Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hudson's Bay Opts to Close Remaining Zellers Stores

Owners of the Hudson’s Bay Co have decided to close most of their remaining 64 Zellers Inc stores across Canada. These remaining stores are ones that have no plans to be converted to Target stores. It is estimated that 6,400 jobs will be lost due to these store closures, and the hope of course is that Target will bring about more jobs for communities across Canada. 

Last week Tiffany Bourre, spokeswomen for Hudson’s Bay Co noted that the partner company for Zellers has been contemplating what to do with the Zellers brand since the Target announcement last year.  “After a lengthy review and numerous discussions with various parties it became apparent that continuing to operate the Zellers banner in its current form was not viable, particularly given the geographic footprint of the remaining locations.”

It has been interesting these past few years watching the Zellers brand go downhill, of course for a variety of reasons. The main reason being the increasing popularity of Wal-mart in many local towns across Canada, with their lower prices, and one stop shopping, this has become more appealing to many consumers.

Branding plays a huge part in consumer perception and my personal perception of Zellers brand is that it’s old and outdated. I think Zellers sales might have succeeded with more profits had they have rebranded several years ago, giving their brand a fresh new look (something for people to get excited about, what to check out the new brand, and of course publicity). I personally find walking into a Zellers store; it just seems outdated and dark/dingy.

Bourre did mention “considering options” of “rebranding some stores” that didn’t close in 2013, hopefully giving them a fresh new look. I will of course be interested to see the rebranding of Zellers stores, if this does happen.

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