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'Nice little nod to nostalgia': Edmontonians line up to shop Zellers grand reopening


Dozens of people lined up outside the Hudson's Bay store at Kingsway Mall in Edmonton on Thursday to be amongst the first to shop at the new Zellers location.

The discount department brand reopened a small location within the store in Edmonton, as well as at Hudson's Bay stores in Calgary and Ontario.

The 9,000 square foot Kingsway location will carry a selection of lifestyle items, homewares, and clothing.

A spokesperson for Kingsway Mall said the Zellers footprint inside the Hudson's Bay store has potential to grow if it resonates with customers.

"With the 9,000 square feet they’ve started out with here, it's a great way to gauge customer response, a great way to kind of flex on what they're putting out on the shelves and how much, and who knows if response is good then that 9,000 square feet could grow and grow,” said Bo Tarasenko of Kingsway Mall.

"I think what people will find with the Zellers section at the Bay is a different variety of products at much more accessible prices, with a nice little nod to nostalgia as well."

The lineup outside the Zellers location at Kingsway Mall in Edmonton.

Robert June said he's happy to see the legacy brand return.

"I’m really surprised. It makes me feel good. I hope this keeps up because we can’t lose Zellers again."

"I hope other stores will come back like Sears. I know it’s a pipe dream, but no one thought Zellers would come back."

He said he's looking forward to a new shopping experience.

"I want to check out their shirts, and their shoes. I can’t find a decent pair of shoes, so I’m hoping Zellers goes with better quality shoes."

Shoppers at Zellers in Kingsway Mall in Edmonton on March 23, 2023.

Bonnie Anderson said she's impressed by what she's seen of the new Zellers so far.

"I think it’s good. It's competition for the other stores, and it looks quite nice in here, like very upscale."

"It looks like the stuff is really nice quality."

The grand opening event included a DJ, prizes, and the Zellers Food Truck, which offered a selection of old favourites outside Kingsway's Entrance 8.

The food truck was so popular, a Zellers official said it would return to the Kingsway Mall parking lot on Friday.

The Zellers Food Truck at Kingsway Mall in Edmonton on March 23, 2023. (Evan Klippenstein/CTV News Edmonton)


One retail expert says in a competitive landscape, bringing back an iconic brand is a great way to attract foot traffic to Hudson's Bay.

"It's always nice to see a well recognized brand like Zellers reenter the marketplace. There’s a lot of nostalgia built around the Zellers brand, and we’re not surprised that it’s getting a great response," John Graham of the Retail Council of Canada told CTV News Edmonton.

"There’s no certainty that any particular retailer will be a success, but bringing an iconic brand back is certainly a way to attract interest."

Graham said while some American brands like Nordstrom are departing from the Canadian retail landscape, customers appreciate a taste of home.

"There’s very few Canadiana brands that are still available to be brought back and remain relevant. There’s a certain demographic that remembers Zellers very fondly."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Marek Tkach. Top Stories

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