Zellers Announces 25 Shop-in-Shop Hudson’s Bay Locations Including Details on Store Sizes

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New details were released on Wednesday on where Canada’s first 25 Zellers stores will be opening this spring, including the fact that these Zellers shop-in-stores will be quite small and will likely not include restaurants. This follows our article on Tuesday discussing new details we’d found on the Zellers retail concept which is being revived in a very different format this year.

Zellers shop-in-stores will include a mix of urban and suburban locations spanning between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet — much smaller than the typical standalone Zellers stores that Canadians knew from the past which were on average 94,000 square feet. Given the relatively small size of these Zellers stores, it’s becoming apparent that the concept will be quite different from the past, and it’s less likely that the Zellers restaurant component will be returning, at least this year with the location announcements.

“2023 has arrived, and with it, Zellers on the horizon,” said the brand via a statement. “The beloved Canadian brand is thrilled to announce the planned locations for its first 25 Zellers store experiences within Hudson’s Bay. Opening in communities across the country, the brick-and-mortar locations will complement the first-ever Zellers.ca ecommerce site, ultimately bringing Zellers to nearly every community in Canada.

Image: Zellers.ca

“Customers will be greeted with a thoughtful selection of design-led products across home decor, toys, baby, apparel and pets, housed within Zellers’ signature red and white that will guide customers along in their retail journey. To stay in the loop, beginning today shoppers can sign up for updates on Zellers.ca – the future home of Zellers’ fully integrated e-commerce platform.

It’s unlikely that the selection of products, and particularly apparel, will be extensive in the physical shop-in-shops given the relatively small footprint.

“At launch, the Zellers experience within Hudson’s Bay will be between 8,000 – 10,000 sq ft., depending on location. The Zellers in-store experience and Zellers.ca are planned to launch simultaneously.”

There was no mention if teddy bear mascot Zeddy will be returning, though it’s likely given some recent marketing seen on Zellers social media. Zeddy was ‘adopted’ by Camp Trillium over a decade ago and an agreement could see the mascot return to Zellers.

The locations of the first 25 Zellers shop-in-stores were announced and here they are below — locations include primarily suburban shopping centre locations as well as two downtown stores:

British Columbia

  • CF Pacific Centre, Downtown Vancouver
  • Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops
  • Guildford Town Centre, Surrey
  • 7 Oaks Shopping Centre, Abbotsford

Aberta

  • Kingsway Garden Mall, Edmonton
  • Medicine Hat Mall, Medicine Hat
  • Sunridge Mall, Calgary

Saskatchewan

  • Midtown Plaza, Saskatoon

Manitoba

  • St. Vital, Winnipeg

Ontario

  • Erin Mills, Mississauga
  • Burlington Mall, Burlington
  • White Oaks Mall, London
  • Scarborough Town Centre , Scarborough
  • Pen Centre Shopping Plaza, St. Catharines
  • Cambridge Centre, Cambridge
  • CF Rideau Center, Ottawa
  • St. Laurent Center, Ottawa
  • Cataraqui Town Centre , Kingston

Quebec

  • Place Rosemère, Rosemère
  • CF Galeries d’Anjou, Ville Anjou
  • Carrefour de l’Estrie, Sherbrooke
  • Les Promenades Gatineau, Gatineau
  • Les Galeries de la Capitale, Quebec City

Nova Scotia

  • Micmac Mall, Dartmouth
  • Mayflower Shopping Mall, Sydney

Downtown Vancouver will be getting a downtown Zellers shop-in-store within the Hudson’s Bay flagship store, as will downtown Ottawa where a large Hudson’s Bay department store is connected to the CF Rideau Centre shopping complex. Other Zellers locations will be in a mix of first-class and secondary malls in larger and smaller communities across the country. It also appears upon inspection that most of the Zellers locations will not initially be in the most productive Bay stores, save for a handful such as downtown Vancouver.

Given that Hudson’s Bay has over 80 stores in Canada (we’re told that at least two will be closing this year), there will be more opportunities for Zellers shop-in-stores to open within. That means more Zellers location announcements within Hudson’s Bay stores could happen into 2024.

Noticeably absent is markets such as Regina Saskatchewan, which would be likely to see a Zellers within its downtown Hudson’s Bay store as part of a second round of location announcements.

A request for an interview for this story was turned down by The Bay. Retail Insider will continue to analyze and report on the Zellers shop-in-store concept as new details become available, and we’ll be providing insights and analysis as these stores begin to open this year.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I get the feeling that there is going to be a gap between consumer expectations and what is delivered. The consumer feedback I have been seeing clearly shows audiences wanting to go back to the ‘glory days’ of the Zellers product mix and experience. Reality is that shop-in-shops will not deliver that. HBC stores suffer from poor customer service, out-dated in-store environments and overall a poor consumer experience. I fear they will insert these new Zellers shops and not increase staffing or improve the experience. Only time will tell and I really hope they achieve what the customer is expecting.

    • I remember HBC mentioning last year that the initial rollout would be followed up with apparel and other products, which is promising. But I can’t help but wonder how many customers will walk into their local Bay store, see the small starter collection, and then walk back out thinking, “this is it?” If Zellers’ plan is to continually expand and evolve, I hope it emphasizes this to its customers.

  2. I was in The Bay at Kingsway Garden Mall last week and noticed hoarding up blocking access to roughly half of the second floor. I wondered what they were doing, now it all makes sense!

  3. Disappointing to hear of the small size, I really thought they would dedicate an entire floor in under performing Bay stores to be a Zellers store. I agree with Jeff Timmins I’m worried now…. the social medias are lit up with excitement we may all be in for some serious disappointment!

  4. The hype is there because of the “Nostalgia” factor. What it has done is given the new store openings a significant amount of media attention, which is always good. At the end of the day though, the retail marketplace is different than the earlier days of Zellers and Giant Tiger has formidable presence across Canada… and what I believe are loyal followers (as much loyalty as there is in retail these days). This, and Walmart will be significant competition for Zellers. The Zellers client is different from the “Bay” clients, who often are looking for higher end, higher quality merchandise. With Zellers in the Bay, it may result in diluting sales revenue at the Bay side of the store.

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