The last Zellers store in Toronto has closed and people are in mourning
The last remaining Zellers in the country shut its doors for good earlier this week, marking the end of an era for those of us who grew up during the heyday of the Canadian discount chain and are now lamenting its loss.
The red-logoed department store started liquidating most of its locations in the early 2010s after profits plummeted in the face of competitors like Walmart.
Earlier today, the final Zellers store closed in Toronto. Waterloo,Ontario born Walter Philip Zeller started the company in 1928 with four stores in Ontario. Zellers was later acquired by @hudsonsbay in 1978. In 2011, 189 Zellers stores were sold to Target & the remainder closed pic.twitter.com/nN23a8GjDm— Andrew Collins (@ACollinsPhoto) January 27, 2020
U.S. chain Target was unsuccessful in its attempts to expand into Canada by taking over more than 150 Zellers storefronts in 2011. After that point, the slow and painful demise of the Zellers brand suddenly hastened.
Love these photos commemorating the end of Zellers. Keep up the good work.— That Guy (@mchkzn) January 25, 2020
By 2013, only three of 350 of the stores were left standing, owned by the Hudson's Bay Company: one in Surrey, B.C., one in Ottawa and one in Etobicoke.
The first shuttered within a year, leaving customers with only the Ottawa and Toronto-area locations at which to get their fill of nostalgia (and bargains).
Now that the last two Zellers have held their final sales and shut down, '90s kids, parents and former employees across the country are finding cause to reminisce about the store's glory days.
Last Zellers in Toronto. Tried to buy a basket but they sold out. pic.twitter.com/6qPtRYSYfb— William Caruana (@DrVidGame) January 26, 2020
The Toronto store's final weeks were bustling, with crowds amassing day in and day out to pay homage to the piece of Canadiana.
The massive sales — up to 90 per cent off everything — meant that employees had to stop shoppers from entering hours before closing just to be able to process every transaction in time.
The scene was quite quickly reduced to state of fluorescent-lit desolation, with clothing racks and other store fixtures the only lingering reminders that a Zellers ever even existed there.
Thank you, Zellers, for you more than 70-year tenure; we will forever cherish the memories of sparkly Zeddy ferris wheels, Club Z loyalty cards and the law of the lowest prices.
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