Archive | In 2013, the Zellers chain of stores bows out

Spread the love

Archives | In 2013, the Zellers chain of stores bowed out

Zellers stores have been a staple of the retail universe in Quebec and Canada for decades.

It has been a staple for many consumers for decades in Quebec and Canada. However, in 2013, the Zellers chain of stores disappeared from the commercial landscape. Our archives recount some of the steps that led to this disappearance.

Founded in 1931 in Montreal, the headquarters of Zellers (then called Zeller's) was located in what was the center of the clothing industry in Canada.

There was a time when Zellers was Canada's second largest big-box chain, with over 300 outlets.

However, in the world of low-cost commerce, competition then becomes increasingly fierce.

The appearance of American brands in Canada, especially Walmart, hurts to Zellers, which has higher operating costs.

On March 14, 1996, Zellers announced the move of its headquarters from Montreal to Toronto.

Report by journalist Martine Biron on the move of Zellers' head office from Montreal to Toronto.

As explained in the report by journalist Martine Biron on Téléjournal (hosted by Bernard Derome) that day, these are imperatives to rationalize operating costs that would drive this decision.

As for the 550 employees affected by the merger, they have the choice of joining Zellers' credit bureau (which remains in Montreal), joining the network of La Baie stores or relocating to the Queen City.

The 62 Zellers stores still active in Quebec are not in danger of closing.

In fact, the financial health of the company, at the time, remained good.

“Another closure that hurts Montreal: that of the Zellers warehouse; 379 employees learned on the spot that they had just lost their position. The company cites the need for restructuring and the growing importance of its activities in the west of the country. »

—  Solveig Miller, host of Téléjournal

A year after the move to Toronto, the presence of Zellers in Quebec is still down by one guts.

The company is closing its warehouse located in Montreal North.

The company cites the inefficiency of the infrastructure of its facilities which prevents the rapid distribution of goods in its points of sale.

Report by journalist Bernard Drainville on the closure of the Zellers warehouse in Montreal North

However, the report by journalist Bernard Drainville, published in Téléjournal of February 26, 1997, potentially points to another reason for this closure.

Is this indeed a coincidence? The Montreal North warehouse was the only unionized one in Quebec.

The closure of Montreal North will help consolidate its stores in Quebec, argues Zellers.

Bernard Drainville points out that, from now on, the distribution of goods in Quebec Zellers stores will be done by the Pointe-Claire warehouse, where the staff is not unionized.

In less than a year, the company cut more than 1000 jobs in Quebec.

In 2006, the good financial health of Zellers, weakened in particular by the presence of American chains like Walmart, is a thing of the past.

That year, the 261 Zellers stores recorded losses of $107 million.

On January 13, 2011, the American brand Target Corporation acquired most of the commercial leases held by the Zellers chain of stores.

Zellers then began to significantly reduce its presence in the country.

Several stores converted into branches of Target, while others closed their doors or are sold to various other retailers.

July 26, 2012 is the coup de grace.

Report by journalist Denis-Martin Chabot on the permanent closure of the Zellers chain of stores

As reported by journalist Denis-Martin Chabot in this report presented to Téléjournal hosted by Maxence Bilodeau, the decision was made to close all Zellers stores in the country on March 14, 2013.

Now comes a dramatic turn of events after a decade, on January 18, 2023.

The Hudson's Bay Company then announces the reopening of 25 points Zellers sales outlets in 24 cities across Canada.

In particular, it will offer interior decoration products, toys, clothing and articles for babies as well as for pets, all at low prices.

Start of the widget. Skip the widget? End of the widget. Back to top of widget?

Previous Article
Next Article