A familiar site to shoppers at Malvern Town Centre turned off the lights for a final time Wednesday night.
Exactly 20 years to the day Zellers opened its doors to the Malvern community, the location is shutting down as its lease was not renewed.
It will be replaced by a new department store, Labels, next spring.
Zellers has been selling off its inventory over the past month, attracting bargain hunters and reducing the store to an empty shell.
The store employs nearly 100 staff and according to Victoria Zigelman, spokesperson for Zellers, “all will have priority placement at other [Bay and Zellers] locations across the city.”
With Zellers the anchor tenant for Malvern Town Centre, smaller stores in the mall are already feeling the pinch.
“It will affect my business and every business in the mall,” said Gurmail Mann, owner of Perfect Furniture, just a few stores down from Zellers.
Mann has already noticed sales dropping during the past month as Zellers started its clearance.
According to Jennifer Huntely, leasing manager at the mall, a new tenant has already signed on.
The new tenant is a Quebec-based department store that will be opening its flagship Labels location as they expand into Ontario. The Zellers location will be undergoing renovations over the next few months to prepare for a Spring 2008 opening of the new store.
The Wal-Mart at Morningside and Milner avenues that opened about five years ago, will be the only local option for Malvern residents while the renovations take place.