NS: Zellers store in Truro among HBC's retail casualties

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By Staff, Truro Daily News

Truro was not selected as a Target location and while some of the Zellers stores that are closing will be re-branded under other names, that decision has yet to be made with the Truro store.

[TRURO, NS] — After about 40 years of operations, the Zellers store in Truro will cease operations March 14.

"The Truro store is one of the 64 that we announced on Thursday (would be closing)," Hudson Bay Co. (HBC) spokeswoman Tiffany Bourré confirmed to the Truro Daily News on Monday.

"Zellers has decided not to operate most of its remaining stores beyond March 2013."

HBC, Zellers Inc.'s parent company, announced last week that it will close most of the 64 remaining locations, affecting up to 6,400 jobs.

Zellers has been contemplating what to do with the brand since last year when it sold the majority of the leases for its 279 discount stores to Target Corp. for $1.83 billion, Bourré said in last week's announcement.

"After a lengthy review and numerous discussions with various parties it became apparent that continuing to operate the Zellers banner in its current form was not viable, particularly given the geographic footprint of the remaining locations," she said.

Truro was not selected as a Target location and Bourré said while some of the stores that are closing will be re-branded under other names, that decision has yet to be made with the Truro store.

Zellers first began operating locally in Lower Truro at what is now the Staples location. It moved to the Truro Mall in 1998.

Alice and Earl Einarson of Antigonish, who were shopping there Monday, said they have been going to Zellers in Truro pretty much since they were married 44 years ago.

Both said they were saddened to hear the store will soon be closing for good.

"Disappointed because I do like this store," Alice said. "It is too bad."

"It's a shame," added Elizabeth White of Valley. "I mean, it's been a good reliable store over the years ... I feel badly that it's closing."

Linda Merkley of Bible Hill said while she is not an avid Zellers shopper, she does like the bargains that can be had there and she will also miss the store.

"I think that's really too bad actually," she said. "When I come over to the mall I usually stop here. And when I buy my pillows and sheets and stuff like that, I always come here."

Mayor Bill Mills, however, expressed optimism that a vacated Zellers would be reborn into other retail venues, much like has occurred on Inglis Place.

"This is just another Margolians but just a different location in town," he said. "One major store closes, we'll hopefully have six or seven new ones open. At least that's my hope and I'm pretty optimistic that I think that's the direction they are going to take," he said of the mall's owners.

Based on past conversations with mall management, Mills said, he has no doubts the space will be filled even if Zellers does not do its own re-branding.

"And my understanding at the time was, they were going to use the space where the Zellers store's currently located for a number of smaller stores," he said.

"I'm pretty confident in that management. They seem to have a pretty good plan overall for that mall."

Organizations: Zellers Inc., HBC, Target Corp. Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Truro, Inglis Place

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