The Hudson’s Bay Company sign in downtown Toronto, Wednesday July 16, 2008. Hudson’s Bay Co. says it is separating its department stores from its online marketplace, creating two separate businesses and distinct leadership structures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Hudson’s Bay Company sign in downtown Toronto, Wednesday July 16, 2008. Hudson’s Bay Co. says it is separating its department stores from its online marketplace, creating two separate businesses and distinct leadership structures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Hudson’s Bay splitting stores from online marketplace to create two businesses

To help accelerate the retailer’s digital-first technology transformation

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. says it is separating its department stores from its online marketplace, creating two separate businesses and distinct leadership structures.

The company says its e-commerce business will operate as The Bay, while its group of 86 brick-and-mortar stores will operate as Hudson’s Bay.

HBC says the change will help accelerate the iconic retailer’s digital-first technology transformation and elevate the overall shopping experience for customers both online and in store.

Richard Baker, HBC’s executive chairman and CEO, says dividing the e-commerce and in-person stores enables each business to make “unencumbered strategic investments.”

He says the launch of the retailer’s expanded online marketplace earlier this year set in motion a rapid expansion of its e-commerce business, positioning the company to gain significant market share.

The company opened its website to third-party sellers in April, adding thousands of new brands and products to its online assortment.

Iain Nairn, president and CEO of The Bay, says the e-commerce business will focus on technology investment and innovation, with plans to launch technology hubs in Toronto and Seattle to improve fulfilment capabilities, expand marketing and extend vendor partnerships.

The retailer says its department stores will continue to play a critical role in the overall shopping experience.

Wayne Drummond, president of Hudson’s Bay, says the role of stores has never been more vital to the retailer’s success.

He says the department stores will become “discovery destinations” and serve as an important touchpoint for customers.

“With stores in major cities across the country, Hudson’s Bay provides Canadians access to the product they need and want, while offering high-touch services that many others cannot,” Drummond said in a statement.

The company says returns, exchanges, rewards points and credit cards will continue to be accepted both online and in stores.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2021.

Retail