Sears vs. The Bay

Mr. Zombie and I had our first registry scanning experience at the Bay earlier this week. After a few frustrated sighs about their small (and expensive) bedding selection, as well as their lack of tool department, we realized that it was probably a good idea to have a secondary registry elsewhere. We wanted to choose a store that was most practical, nothing fancy (Ugh. Pottery Barn. Vomit) and most importantly, had things that we actually needed. 

The first choice was Canadian Tire. I used to hate going to this store as a child. I found it boring and too overwhelming. Now, Mr. Zombie and I make Canadian Tire trips a momentous event. They’ve got a wide array of things that we really needed for our home/studio: tools, giant tool chests, pet supplies, storage solutions, etc. etc. Canadian Tire is also home to the Debbie Travis collection, which so happens to produce the everyday plate set that would have been perfect for our style.


Square plates. Red and black. How freakin’ appropriate!

You can only imagine how heartbroken we were when we  found out that Canadian Tire no longer did gift registries. We were shocked. How could Canadian Tire possibly get rid of their gift registry service when their store is full of awesome stuff?! EPIC FAIL, CANADIAN TIRE!

So we had to go with our second registry of choice: Sears. I have to admit that I didn’t even want to think of considering Sears when we first started this registry misadventure. With the exception of their awesome cosmetic counter (Anna Sui FTW!), I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences at Sears. Whether its getting lost in the store, or dealing with terrible customer service, I don’t remember a single moment where I left a Sears store particularly satisfied. However, Sears did have a lot of things that the Bay didn’t, including the epic tool department, so… well… why not, right? 

Well, the registry sign-up experience didn’t really help save their name for me. While Mr. Zombie was at work, Mommy Zombie and I stopped by Sears to sign up for a registry account. Unlike the Bay, which had a very inviting and organized registry centre in their store, Sears had one dinky little desk in the housewares department. They also had what can only described as an ATM machine for registries where you can sign up digitally for a registry account. I still had questions for their registry consultant (there was only one, who at the time was M.I.A for half an hour!!!!) so I waited at her desk. There was already a woman there waiting to set up a registry for her shower as well. We had waited for almost 45 minutes before I could finally inquire about the registry service and sign up for my account. Not impressed, Sears! It’s a good thing that they have an online registry option so we don’t have to deal with this moving forward.

Anyway, from our registry experience so far, I can highlight some pros and cons about each store we’ve registered in. For any other Canadian couples who are considering these places to set up a registry, this could be a guideline for you too!



– Organized, frilly and well-executed registry service. The registry service centre in the store is large, with multiple informative attendants to serve you.   
–  The store you register in doesn’t necessarily have to be the store you pick-up in. This is handy because we registered for products in the downtown Toronto store, where parking usually sucks. We opted to pick up in a suburban store by my parent’s house. 
–  A lot of high-end, fancy housewares.
– A more extensive kitchen selection, which also includes Gordon Ramsay cookware that we are both madly in love with.
– Everything you can possibly register for is more or less located in only one floor (two if you want to register for fine China and silverware… we’re not registering for any of those).
– fluffy towels!
– There is a Bay location all across Canada.  

– Delivery option is more or less non-existent, especially when they insist on charging an arm and a leg PER item.
– They try to ram the HBC credit card down your throat.
– There is no online catalogue, nor can you  register online. Well, poo, the Bay! POO!
– While Gordon Ramsay cookware is all kinds of awesome, it is also $999.99 for a ten-piece set.
– Very little bedding selection. There is nothing under $80 for a sheet set.
– No comforters. Only $120 duvet covers for $500 duvets.
– Though it’s not as yuppy as William Sonoma, it’s sure up there in price points for EVERYTHING. 
– No tool section?! Why?! 



– The catalogue is available online, and they have an online registry set-up.
– Sears is located all across Canada and in the States
– They have a cool feature in their registry service that tells guests what your colour schemes are for each room in your home so they can pick presents accordingly (ours is red, black and grey).
–  Free swag bag from Anna Sui, apparently. YAY!
– They have a tool section
– They have a more extensive bedding selection, which are actually affordable.
– While the housewares selection is small, they do have a good selection of pots and pans  

– terrible customer service
– there is only one registry consultant manning the front lines
– they try to ram the SEARS credit card down your throat
– smaller housewares selection, particularly in the kitchen department
–  you have to wander through more floors because the layout of the store is completely spread out and unorganized. 


Coming up next time: A recap of our first registry scanning session at the Bay, complete with photos and Gordon Ramsay!


2 Responses to “Sears vs. The Bay”

  1. We registered at the Bay too, for all the “pro” reasons you listed, but it still PISSES ME OFF that they don’t show photos or anything on your online registry, which is really inconvenient for guests, and communicates a sort of “you don’t even have to know what you’re buying us, just get us some damn thing off our list”. Bah.

    Also check in on your Bay registry often. About a month after I registered, a quarter or so of the items on my registry were discontinued. Seriously. The secret is that you can ask your registry lady to put the items that have been discontinued aside for you, so that guests can still buy them because they’ll be saving them for you. They won’t offer you this option–you have to ask for it. The whole thing is totally stupid.

  2. nightmarewedding Says:

    Yea, there are definitely a lot of cons with the Bay… it sucks 😦
    Thanks for the heads up though! We’ll definitely ask for that next time we come in.

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