Skip to content

BEHIND THE SCENES: U of G Professor says Zellers' return has more significance than just nostalgia

CambridgeToday reporter Matt Betts takes us behind the scenes

According to a University of Guelph marketing expert, the return of Zellers isn't just about nostalgia; it's a strategic move by Hudson's Bay to attract and retain customers. Tanya Mark, a professor at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, believes that the move will not only increase the types of products available but also attract new customers while increasing the value of the shopping basket for current customers.

The partnership between The Bay and MEC is also part of the company's efforts to partner with premium brands and offer exciting, quality brands at reasonable prices across all retail channels. However, Mark cautions that The Bay's marketing decisions may not be enough to compete with retail giants like Walmart and Amazon. To join their ranks, The Bay must make significant investments in technology to improve its online shopping experience.

Mark emphasizes that it's crucial for The Bay to improve its online shopping capabilities to remain competitive, especially post-pandemic. She suggests that people want to browse and make purchases whenever they have time and don't want to be restricted by a company's hours of business. Therefore, The Bay needs to invest in technology to enhance its online shopping experience and stay competitive.

Video Summary

Zellers is planning to re-enter the retail market, but a professor from the University of Guelph is questioning the sustainability of this move. One of the biggest challenges that Zellers will face is competition from established retailers such as Walmart and Dollarama. These two companies offer affordable products and have become household names, making it difficult for Zellers to win customers back. Another challenge for Zellers is that they have been out of the public eye for some time, and people's shopping habits have shifted to online shopping and other brick-and-mortar stores. To succeed, Zellers will need to be efficient in rolling out their online shopping platform and execute their plans well.

Zellers has formed a partnership with the Bay, which is expected to impact the shopping experience for customers at the Cambridge Center mall. The mall currently has many empty storefronts, and the addition of Zellers and the Bay is expected to increase foot traffic. While some view this partnership as a win for the Bay, others see it as a temporary boost that may not be sustainable in the long run. However, there is something uniquely Canadian about Zellers and the Bay, which may appeal to consumers looking to shop local.

Despite the challenges, Zellers has the opportunity to offer affordable products at a time when many consumers are looking for ways to save money. If they can execute their plans well and stay in tune with consumers' changing shopping habits, they may be able to carve out a niche in the retail market. Recently Matt Betts from CambridgeToday went behind the scenes with Scott Sexsmith to talk about the return of the retailer.