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Hudson’s Bay plans to close 10 Lord & Taylor stores

RBR Staff Writer Published 06 June 2018

Hudson’s Bay (HBC) is planning to close 10 Lord & Taylor stores through 2019 to better balance the brand's brick and mortar presence with its online channels and increase profitability.

HBC recently decided to sell its property to WeWork. The retailer is also planning to divest its online business Gilt as it aims to improve its profitability. 

Initially, the company intended to maintain the Lord & Taylor store at Fifth Avenue, in part of the space it sold to WeWork, but then the plan was abandoned.

HBC CEO Helena Foulkes said that the company is taking action to reposition Lord & Taylor for improved results and increased profitability.

"The Lord & Taylor flagship on Walmart.com, which launched last week, is a great example of this and represents how we are thinking about the entire business," Foulkes said.

The company recently reported C$400m ($310.48m) of loss for the first quarter ended 5 May 2018, compared to C$221m ($171.54m) a year ago.

Its overall revenues increased from C$3.06bn ($2.38bn) last year to C$3.09bn ($2.4bn) for this year. While sales at some of its stores had fallen by 0.7%, they increased by 7.7% in its digital division and 6% at its Saks Fifth Avenue.

At its European division, its sales dropped by 6.6% which included its Kaufhof, the largest retail chain in Germany and its new stores in the Netherlands along with 3.3% at its Saks OFF 5th discount banner.

At its department store group including the Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters chains in Canada and Lord & Taylor in the US, sales dropped by 0.6%.

Foulkes said: "Over the last month, we have worked rapidly to put in place a leadership team focused on driving business results, streamlining our processes and fostering a culture of accountability. We need to improve across all areas of the business, and this begins with rededicating ourselves to putting the customer first in everything we do.

"This customer-focused mindset will dictate how we think about key functions of the business, and I see opportunity to dramatically improve our marketing and digital operations while also refining company wide processes that impact our end to end customer experience."

She also stated that in Europe, the company has ‘de-layered management’ that will allow the business to take actions to improve its market condition.

Image: Hudson's Bay store in Montréal. Photo: Courtesy of DXR/Wikipedia.org.