This is the last week to catch a deal at Zellers.
On Saturday, after over 30 years in Trail, the retailer will close its doors for good.
For one employee, its closure hurts for more than one reason.
Audrey Pitman, an employee of Zellers for 11 years, will soon to be out of work.
But more than her job, she will miss her long-time customers and the daily chats and stories they shared.
“The one thing I will miss most, is the people who visited, shopped and ate here daily,” she said. “This store was part of their lives for so many years.”
Zellers was a hub on the corner of Cedar Ave. and Eldorado St., in downtown Trail until the mid 1990’s, when it relocated to Waneta Plaza.
In July 2012, the Trail store was given the axe by its parent company, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) along with 274 other Zellers locations.
Notice was given to the 85 employees at the Trail store, and to 6,400 people nationwide.
Only six full-time people from the Trail location received severance packages; several people are retiring; but the majority haven’t found work yet, said Pitman.
Tiffany Bourre, external communications manager for HBC, said that each of the affected Zellers stores was no longer viable, including the Trail store.
“HBC does not have plans for another operation in that space,” said Bourre.
The store began liquidating late last year, and most of the stock has been sold at the store, said Bourre.
The process of liquidation began on Dec. 13, when a consultant landed in Trail and began the process of selling everything in the store.
The liquidation started at a pre-determined percentage return between the Zellers store and our company, said the liquidator, who wished to remain anonymous.
Throughout the liquidation, the store and its employees continued daily business practises under its parent company, and Zellers does not receive any monetary return until the store is closed, he said.
“All I do is control the percentage changes and make sure we come up with the right numbers.”
He said that everything including fixtures, shelving racks, and pegboards are already sold.
“When I leave here all that will be left is four walls and a floor.”
Linda MacDermid, property manager for Anthem Properties (G.C. Waneta Plaza Ltd.) said that she cannot comment on the future of the 67,000 square-foot Zellers location.
“There is nothing to say right now.”
“When I and my leasing team is ready, we will do a press release,” she said.
Zellers is the second large space in the mall to close its doors this year.
In January, Athlete’s World began its liquidation, and closed its doors at the end of February.