Big box discount stores are generally glum places by nature. The more aesthetically pleasing the environment, after all, the more it feeds the perception that the cost is being handed down.
Walmart just pushed this cheap philosophy so far that it provided room in the U.S. for a fashion-conscious alternative.
The positioning of Target was further validated when it secured its first 105 locations across Canada. No longer would the country be stuck with so many of those bleak Zellers stores that the Hudson's Bay Company never quite knew what to do with.
And, in the run-up to the $1.8 billion handover of about half of its 273 stores from one U.S.-based owner to another — Walmart will get 39 of them, actually — Zellers has seized permission to publicly admit that it became the last place Canadians wanted to shop at.
The lack of need for traditional advertising in the two-year transition period has reportedly helped HBC make more money off the dying stores. Now, the company has accelerated its use of social media to entice customers through irony.