It took them 15 minutes to find a parking spot in front of Zellers department store, but it was well worth it for Sarat Gupta and his wife Neeru.
Judging by the amount of merchandise they crammed into their shopping cart, they found the place where the lowest price indeed is the law.
On the final weekend before Zellers at Centre Mall Zellers closes its doors permanently, most of the dwindling stock was 70 per cent off and some items had prices slashed 90 per cent.
Weve always had good deals here but the last three days are like crazy and things are flying off the shelves, said Sarat. Things are 70 per cent off now and Im sure they next couple days it will be even better than it was today.
Neeru found lots of items she knows her kids at home are going to like.
Its good when you have so many good deals - on a limited budget you can buy double the stuff, she said. My kids love the kind of stuff and the games I bought for them and they had good bargains on groceries and some clothes.
Today is the last day for the Prince George store as the giant U.S. retailer Target takes its first aim at the Canadian market, having acquired the leasing rights to as many as 220 Zellers stores in a $1.825-billion deal announced in January. Owned since 1978 by the Hudsons Bay Company, the Zellers chain has been liquidating stock for several months at 189 stores across Canada. We are feeling bad about the store being taken over by Target; Zellers has been very good to us, said Neeru.
Its really tough to find a good job these days and you feel bad for the staff. Its been pretty hectic for them from morning to night, the rate theyve been moving things on.
They are exhausted, said Sarat.
All Zellers staff, who belong to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, will be laid off, and for the next six months, the 35-year-old Pine Centre Mall store will be renovated to allow the new Target store to open by next May. Target has said it intends to spend between $10-$11 million on at least 125 stores in Canada.
In July, HBC announced it intends to close the remaining 64 Zellers stores not included in the Target buyout and will retire the Zellers name by March 31. Barb Wilchek said she prefers shopping at the The Bay, but braved the crowds at Zellers Saturday to find some good deals. The store boundaries have been steadily shrinking and a good three-quarters of the floor space has been cordoned off as the deeply-discounted merchandise finds its way into peoples carts.