Wednesday, July 29, 2009

if you knew sayvette a little better, you'd like it a lot more: bonus features

Before reading this post, check out the related installment of Historicist.

Vintage Ad #871: Sayvette Opening September 7th

The first full-page ad to announce the arrival of Sayvette at Thorncliffe Market Place (now East York Town Centre), from the August 30, 1961 edition of the Toronto Star. When the store was built, it was determined that all of the space in the basement would not be required by Sayvette. The unnecessary space was converted to a bowling alley, which still operates underneath the present-day Zellers store (and has been seen a few times on this site...).

Vintage Ad #873: Easter Savings Sale at Sayvette, 1974

A typical example of the chain's advertising from the mid-70s (Toronto Star, April 9, 1974), after a new logo and slogan were introduced. Loblaws introduced its current logo and font in 1973, with its divisions following suit over the next year. The Windsor location had a short run, operating from the opening of Tecumseh Mall in 1973 until it was included in the chain's second round of closures in 1975. The location was a Zellers during my childhood, though even then it stood out for not resembling any other Zellers in the area—darker, brown-dominated areas in the clothing sections, 1970s-styled orange stripes and chunky fonts by the escalators (which I rushed up to get to the toy section), etc. The only trace we had at home of its days as Sayvette were boxes of Christmas ornaments with the price stickers still attached. The space is now occupied by Dollarama and Good Life Fitness.

Vintage Ad #874: Sayvette Pink Elephant Sale, 1973

You'll have to click on this ad (Toronto Star, February 21, 1973) to see Sayvette's copy writers testing out their funny bones. A far cry from the elegant image the chain tried to establish when it began. The chain also had a habit of apologizing for its foul-ups, be it poor buying decisions or lousy customer service.


Maybe Sayvette should have done what parent Loblaws did to help revive its sales in the mid-1970s: add a little touch of Shatner.

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