Shoppers at a Hudson’s Bay store in Burlington, Ont., may be surprised to see the distinctive black typeface of their familiar department store, giving way to bright red signage—equally familiar to most Canadians, who founded the 1970s. Shopped for anything from home goods to hardware since the decade of the decade. .
The Zellers name and logo hang from the ceiling on the upper floor of the Burlington Center Bay store, hidden in a corner near the toy section just before a broken escalator.
This is not a standalone, full Zellers in the style of past decades. It is a pop-up store inside an existing store rather than a full outlet of discount department stores, which by the early 2000s had hundreds of locations across Canada.
There were only a few items for sale in the Zellers pop-up when viewed by businesshala Radio. the cost of living At the end of September.
There were less than 20 clothing for adults, mostly red and white with styles labeled “Canada”. There was a small selection of wine glasses, pillows and bedsheets, and several toys to hold.
This was a far cry from the wide selection at full discount department stores like Walmart or Giant Tiger.
Customers so used to the famous “law of low prices” that zeller advertisements referred to as jingles would have been surprised at the pricing. Items from the pop-up discount brand were priced similarly to nearby HBC stores, such as Sherway Gardens Hudson’s Bay in suburban Toronto.
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But while lowest prices were the law at zellers in the past, the Hudson’s Bay Company said the talk of this pop-up store is the emotional reaction of customers.
The new Zellers “are here to delight our customers with a fun and nostalgic experience with one of HBC’s most beloved brands,” Hudson’s Bay Company representative Tiffany Brough said in an emailed statement.
Trademark oddities a few months ago
The Zellers pop-up launched several months after the Hudson’s Bay Company trademark on the Zellers logo and the design was “expulsed” or removed from the federal government. Canadian Trademark Database.
Trademark expert and attorney Julie McDonnell said that means the record no longer exists at the Registrar of Trademarks.
“Therefore you are not, from a registration standpoint, a recognized owner of that brand element, that name, logo, tagline,” McDonnell said.
Government records show that the Trademark Office sent a renewal notice for the trademark to HBC or its representatives in December 2019. Months later, on September 24, 2020, the trademark was “removed” due to “failure to upgrade”.
What happened next is not clear. government records show a new application The Zellers name and logo design were filed by “Zellers Inc” in April 2021. La Trinité-des-Monts is located in Que.
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The New Application for Ownership of the Zellers Trademark does not appear to be affiliated with the Hudson’s Bay Company, despite its use of the Zellers Inc. name.
In an emailed statement to businesshala Radio, HBC confirmed that it has nothing to do with the Quebec company, adding that it owns all registered and unregistered rights to the Zellers mark.
Hudson’s Bay Company filed a new trademark application For the Zellers on June 30, 2021.
“HBC is investigating any unauthorized use of, or attempted use of, the Zellers trademark and stands ready to take decisive action as necessary to avoid consumer confusion regarding our Zellers brand,” HBC’s Bourré wrote.
the cost of living Zellers was unable to contact the new applicant for the trademark at the respective address. The phone number associated with the address was ringing as out of service.
Another application for rights The name “Kmart” is also pending for Kmart Canada Limited based at the same address. Kmart Canada was purchased by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the late 1990s, at which time most stores were converted to The Bay or Zellers.
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Trademark lawyer McDonnell may have tried to grab a new company perceived as an abandoned logo or brand — but he cautioned that this is unlikely to be a winning strategy.
“It’s a brand that has enough reputation, enough profit attached to it and it doesn’t work out that you can go and hold on and start a new business with it,” McDonnell said.
Both the new HBC application, and the unrelated “Zellers Inc.” The application for trademark registration is in progress and has not yet been handed over to the government examiners.
As for the store experience itself, the nostalgia hunt for HBC was realized by longtime Burlington resident N’Gear Lynn — at first.
She couldn’t hide the excitement in her Scottish brogue, telling businesshala radio the cost of living He called about half a dozen of his friends about the return of his favorite department store.
This is not a zeller. This is the other side of the bay. Pardon me. Won’t wash with me— Nagair Lin
“Guys, the Zellers is back!” he said. “He told me, I think you’re leaving in the morning. Oh, I’m leaving.”
Lynn was less excited after visiting the Zellers.
listen | Hear from Zellers Pop-Up Store shoppers:
“It’s not zellers. It’s a second-hand part of The Bay. Sorry. Won’t wash with me,” she said while browsing through some mini food processors priced at $69.99 and plaid shirts priced over $50. Said happened.
Indifference—and a Potential Marketing Test
According to retail experts, HBC may test whether Zellers still has legs as a brand.
Janice Rudkowski, an assistant professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Retail Management in Toronto, has researched pop-up retail and HBC is using the retail experience at Burlington Center Mall to research what comes next.
“Maybe it will give them some insight into how much they want to invest in the Zellers brand in the future,” Rudkowski said, adding that the pop-up is going on while the company can collect information and data. The company has said that in future, Zeller’s shops can be started at other places as well.
Rudkowski also pointed out that Zellers still resonates with Canadians as a brand, so taking advantage of the nostalgia may be on point, if not club Z points.
“I’m sure a lot of people think back to their childhood and consider the Zellers to be an important part of that childhood, so it turns into nostalgia, and it’s quite powerful,” Rudkowski said.
‘Many memories come back’
Customers passing through the Zellers section of the Bay in Burlington certainly felt nostalgic as they saw the familiar logo on the walls.
“You just look at the name and it pop and a lot of memories come back,” said Jennifer Morris, who went shopping with Katie Beninck on Tuesday morning.
Both shoppers said they are unlikely to come back just because of those Zeller signs.
“It looks like there are signs of some Zellers at bay,” Beninck said.
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