- Apr 26, 2007
- Reaction score
I very much disagree with this strategy.
Zellers had some life left in it, when it was killed; but it was tired; if it were to be sustained at the time, it needed investment in better stores, improved assortment, better price points etc.
Regardless, it was aimed at the discount market.
Hudson's Bay as a brand has rightly tried to reposition itself as upper-middle to avoid head to head competition with Walmart.
Bringing Zellers back to occupy 20% or more of a Hudson's Bay store footprint serves to diminish the latter, while not being useful to the traditional Zellers customer.
If Zellers were to be revived, the way to do it, other than building completely new stores would be the wholesale conversion of the dumpster fire Hudson's Bay stores that haven't been properly invested in; and are too
small to be what HBC says they would like to position them to be.
Just flip the whole store, so you can get rid of a 'B' or 'C' level store that drags on the reputation of Hudson's Bay (such as it is); and you have ample room to test out new concepts for a lower-price segment.
I think Giant Tiger, among others, establishes that there is some life in the discount concept; a space between Dollarama and Walmart.
But to pull it off you need to identify what that market needs and wants, and how to differentiate your offer.
I would aim to bring back the Lunch Counter idea as a way to drive traffic, I'd think about an inordinate focus on seasonal (allows regular product refresh, and its not a well-served segment of the market);
I'd look heavily into toys, as children drive traffic; I would pair that w/children's wear and snacks/candy.
A bunch of pseudo-nostalgic shirts in a space designed for a version of The Bay that no one has built in 30 years is not my idea of a retail strategy.
I don't think Zellers is being revived, they're just playing on nostalgia. It's a fairly small section of the store.
A fun exercise, but I don't think it'll make much of a difference one way or another.