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Ottawa shoppers find deals, nostalgia at Zellers grand opening


Excitement and nostalgia brought shoppers to the grand opening of Zellers in Ottawa's Rideau Centre mall on Thursday morning.

The store is one of a dozen in Ontario and Alberta that opened on Thursday, a relaunch of the popular discount store that aims to capitalize on growing demand for affordable goods.

Steve Trudel was first in line to check out the new Ottawa store.

"It's a very nice store, I think they're going to get a lot of buzz and it looks like the stuff has got a lot of quality," Trudel said. "It's a very bright, clean store."

"I just wanted to see what all the buzz was about, see if it was going to be the same, different, what kind of products they were going to have."

The 10,000 square foot stores will be located within Hudson's Bay department stores and feature an assortment of private-label products, including clothing, toys and home and living items.

Harley Siemens, visiting from Manitoba, wasn't the first person in line for the grand opening, but he was the first person to buy something: three wooden toys for his kids.

"I was shocked when you let me know that I was the first person to buy something," he said. "I think that's kind of cool, a little piece of history come back…I think it's great to have a store open like this again."

One woman said the store brought back memories of shopping in her childhood.

"I love it, there's so many options," Cheyanne Millham said. "I used to come to Zellers as a kid a lot so coming back in my 20s and seeing everything is very nostalgic. … I'm definitely going to spend hours in here

The Zellers food truck was scheduled to serve up classics like the hot chicken sandwich, but there was a problem with the truck so it wasn't available.

The company has also launched a new Zellers e-commerce website, with all items online and in-store featuring so-called rounded pricing, so for example $5 rather than $4.99 or $5.49.

The relaunch of Zellers comes a decade after the discount department store closed most locations.

The company plans to open 25 stores in total.

- with files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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