I loved Zellers when I lived in the GTA. The stores have been renovated, they’re bright and look like they mean business. They were great for buying cleaning products and other doodads and whatnots. And as a longtime HBC Rewards points collector, I enjoy my Zellers/Bay/Home Outfitters combo for accumulating points.
But I also love Target, pronounced jokingly and lovingly by those who have strolled its aisles – tar-jay! I have footwear from Targets in California and Detroit that I’ve worn for years. There’s a product Target stocks called Downy Wrinkle Releaser that is wonderful unless ironing clothes is your idea of a really good time. Target has taken on an almost mythological status among Canadians who have rounded aisle after aisle and found something cool and inexpensive that we can’t get here at home.
You’ve likely heard by now that Target is taking over Zellers by 2014. They will open 100-150 stores in Canada and what happens to the rest of the 220 Zellers locations remains unclear. Somehow, Zellers has remained profitable but in a market like London, for example, I don’t see how that’s possible. The Zellers at Westmount is still the old style store, it opens two hours later than Wal-Mart on Saturdays and I believe The Wal (as I call it) is kicking their retail butt.
I would much rather shop Canadian (and locally) but does it really matter anymore? It’s our neighbours who work at these stores, no matter who owns them. Isn’t this all part of living in a capitalist society? Does it matter whether the ownership is north or south of the 49th parallel? We vacation in the US, we buy products made there. If the shopping experience will be made better by a new, American owner taking over, isn’t that what matters to you and me? I drive a Nissan vehicle and a Honda motorcycle because I shopped around and decided that these imports served my needs best. Isn’t choice what it’s all about? It seems to me that resistence is not only futile, it’s a couple of decades too late.