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Hudson's Bay Company (including Top Shop / Top Man)

Cast2

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I think H.B.C. should be considering get rid of locations such as Centerpoint, Hillcrest and Eglinton Town Centre. They are so dead and depressing.
 

snyberTO

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The main floor menswear department at Yonge & Bloor is undergoing some sort of renovation. Would be great if they could raise the ceilings.

I was shopping in the men's department a few weeks ago and asked the salesperson about the scaffolding - apparently there is a water leak somewhere above and the scaffolding is up to protect the merchandise. At least that's what he told me.....
 
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gabe

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Bloomingdale's Not Coming to Canada http://www.retail-insider.com/2012/11/bloomingdales-not-coming-to-canada.html

We just got word from a Hudson's Bay management-office insider that talks with Bloomingdale's have stalled and that it is unlikely the American luxury department store will come to Canada. We previously reported that Bloomingdale's might move to Canada via Hudson's Bay, with a free-standing Bloor Street store in Toronto and two concessions within Bay stores in Vancouver and Calgary.

Bloomingdale's signature interiors and merchandise would have been a welcome addition to Canada's Hudson's Bay. We are quietly holding some hope that the deal isn't dead but we've been told, and we quote, "don't hold your breath about Bloomingdale's coming to Canada via The Bay".
 

greenleaf

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I was in the Bay on Queen last week and went to the men's section on the main level to ask where Top Man was located (I didn't see it listed). It took not one, not two, not three, but four employees to get the info. No one knew. Ridiculous.
 

themarc

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From Retail-Insiders Facebook page:

We just got word that ALL but five private-label Hudson's Bay Company brands will be eliminated. All that will be left will include:
1) Hudson's Bay Company Signature
2) 1670 (article to follow)
3) Gluckstein Home
4) Lord & Taylor and
5) Black Brown 1826 (not a label we're fond of)

20 other private-label brands will be eliminated from Hudson's Bay. You can expect this an other announcements at 8:30am tomorrow (Tuesday December 11th) via press conference.

I guess this is what happens when you alienate your customer base (you lose equity in your private brands).
 

Skeezix

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I guess this is what happens when you alienate your customer base (you lose equity in your private brands).


I dunno. It sounds like a smart move, along the lines of what other retailers are doing. If they've set an ambitious goal of having private labels account for 15% of sales, then it would seem logical to focus on a core group of successful ones and expand them. Most of their private labels are relatively new (post Bonnie Brooks), so I am not sure what this has to do with alienating their customer base or losing equity in private labels (what equity?). According to this morning's news reports, sales rose 9% in November 2012 at the Bay (4.5% in the third quarter). They have a long way to go (l-o-n-g), but sales were so low to begin with, I can't imagine how "alienating their customer base" is their biggest concern. I am not sure they have that luxury.

And the 20 labels they are cutting aren't all at the Bay - we're also talking the private labels at Lord & Taylor. On the men's side at the Bay, this means goodbye to Hudson North (inexpensive crap, probably never took off) and Hudson Room (never saw it on anything other than men's dress shirts - which weren't bad).

December 10, 2012
HBC putting its own stripe on merchandise with private labels
By MARINA STRAUSS
The Globe and Mail

As high-profile suppliers – think Coach – open their own stores, the retailer tries for a bigger profit slice with private labels

Hudson's Bay Co. trumpets high-profile brands such as Coach as a big part of its turnaround efforts, but behind the scenes the retailer is building an arsenal of its own private labels to fight growing competition from its suppliers' standalone stores.

While HBC and other department stores count on stocking well-recognized lines to draw customers, the merchants also contend with those same companies running their own shops nearby – often in the same mall or down the street.

Now, HBC, which reports its first quarterly results as a reborn public company on Tuesday, is putting a new push on its own labels. In-house brands give merchants more leeway in setting prices without having to match a competitor's discount, while scaling back on middlemen. Retailers are betting they can generate higher profit margins from their own brands, while taking on their suppliers on their own turf.

On Nov. 28, HBC took another step in pumping up its house brands by launching a shop at Toronto Pearson International Airport to tout its signature collection, which features its heritage multicoloured stripes on everything from blankets to coats; in March, it will open another HBC Trading Post at Vancouver International Airport.

"As you watch the proliferation of vendors opening their own stores, you're seeing the reverse proliferation of retailers doing their own product," said Marc Metrick, HBC's chief marketing officer and a former executive at U.S. department store purveyor Saks Inc. "That's all about controlling your own destiny. It's profitable and it's a key differentiator."

Some chains, such as apparel specialists Gap Inc. and J. Crew Group Inc. carry almost exclusively their own labels, while grocer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has become a destination for its President's Choice foods and Joe Fresh fashions, competing directly with similar national brands, often at lower prices.

Today, department stores are aiming to create a buzz for their own labels to help bolster their bottom lines and keep customers from fleeing to their vendors' rival stores.

"They are offering a distinctive bundle rather than a flea market of somebody else's goods, which you can buy anywhere else," said Jim Danahy, managing principal at retail consultancy CustomerLAB.

Retailers are drawn to private labels because they can generate double the profit of national brands if managed well, with opportunities to chop marketing and distribution costs, he said. But if their styles fail to resonate with shoppers, they risk having to clear them out at a discount, which pinches margins.

Private labels in women's wear can be more challenging than those in men's fashion because female shoppers hanker more after coveted brands, Ron Frasch, chief merchandising officer at Saks, told analysts this year.

"We really have just scratched the surface," added chief executive officer Steve Sadove.

Indeed, department stores, including Sears Canada Inc., increasingly are focusing on stepping up their private labels. HBC set a five-year goal for private label sales to reach 15 per cent of its overall $3.9-billion in annual revenue (excluding the soon-to-close Zellers chain), from 9 per cent today, according to its securities filings.

At U.S.-based Macy's Inc., private labels make up 20 per cent of sales, up from 17 per cent in 2004, says HBC's initial public offering document. "Higher penetration of exclusive and private brands has allowed some department stores to increase merchandise margins while also attracting new customers," it says.

Mr. Metrick stressed that HBC is using its private labels simply to complement strong national brands such as Michael Kors and "fill some gaps." The new airport signature shops act as a brand billboard for a "captive audience" of travellers.

HBC plans to trim to five – from 25 – the in-house brands it carries at its Bay and Lord & Taylor chains. Next fall, it will introduce a new brand called 1670 (the year Hudson's Bay was founded) for contemporary styles. It will broaden its Lord & Taylor line in 2014 beyond cashmere fashions to a wide array of goods. Other surviving labels will be the signature collection, the Black Brown 1826 men's wear line and Gluckstein Home.

Private labels allow HBC to respond faster to shifting trends and better control the flow and timing of merchandise shipments, the company said. The retailer has hired agents to find non-competing retailers in North America and beyond to stock its brands, and already sells its Black Brown line to Belk, a U.S. department store.
 
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nfitz

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I just did me usual pop into The Bay on Yonge to grab my usual tin of Cabury's biscuits before Christmas.

And not a biscuit in site. They had their own brand-name Belgian biscuits, and Swiss biscuits, and shortbread, but nothing like Cadburys. Lots of Walkers Shortbread though.

So I popped over to Shoppers Drug Mart who have stocked in some years, and nothing (more Belgian biscuits). And then into No Thrills, as there has been a good President's Choice equivalent some years ... more Belgian biscuits.

Any suggestions? I know there used to be the factory outlet where they package them up in Scarborough, but I wasn't planning to drive anywhere out there this week during business hours. Or has the Bay hidden them somewhere I can't find.

Never knew there was such a huge Belgian population in the GTA before ...
 

nfitz

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Try Empire on Queen (north side, east of Broadview). They sell all manner of Brit nosh.
Yes, that was my back-up plan. But those will be expensive and imported, and in limited quantity. Rather than the usual stuff you can find which is made in England, packaged in Canada, tastes the same, and a lot easier on the wallet. Tell the truth, I was in there a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't see much ... but I wasn't looking. Probably 6 weeks too late ... particularly if the usual suppliers don't have it this year.
 
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nfitz

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Well, I took a chance, decided to head to work late, and drove up to where the Premier Brands factory outlet used to be at 1380 Birchmount. Still there. Car park overflowing and full of Cadbury Biscuits, and all sort of biscuits, chocolate, and candy that are popular at Christmas. Even some Hudson Bay branded product. The Cadbury stuff is made in England, and either repackage here, or packaged for Canada. The prices are excellent, about half what you'd see for similar in the Bay. And some really cheap stuff that's packaged as bulk.

What I can't figure out is what retail outlets are actually selling the stuff ... I can't imagine that they are doing this operating entirely for the factory outlet.

For anyone that's interested, it's just north of Lawrence - about a 15-minute walk (1,500 metres) from Lawrence East station - though only a 15-minute drive from Coxwell.
 

Skeezix

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Not sure what this means. A three-store chain of clearance outlets for the Bay and Home Outfitters? (although I seem to recall an article three or four months suggesting that one of the planned outlet malls on Toronto's outskirts was courting an HBC outlet store - can't remember where) HBC's answer to H2/Nordstrom Rack? (doubtful, I suppose, if they are keeping the Zellers name) Something else entirely? It doesn't sound like it will be Zellers as we've known it.

Zellers will stick around Canada’s three biggest cities after Target arrives

Marc Weisblott
Published: January 8, 2013, 10:30 am
Canada.com

Zellers has spent the past two years preparing to wind down operations after the discount store owner Hudson’s Bay Co. sold 220 of its leases to U.S. chain Target.

The process included a series of successfully self-deprecating social media promotions that played off the downmarket image of the brand name — on the assumption that it would disappear entirely by March.

But stores in the areas of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver will remain open after all.

Zellers will remain open for the long haul in spaces that Target didn’t find desirable and weren’t among the 39 leases handed off to rival Walmart.

The locations in Montreal North, the Queensway in Toronto and the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre in White Rock, B.C. will carry on with a modified selection this spring and beyond.

“Zellers will redefine the store format to focus on fashion apparel and a refined home product offering with a shared merchandise mix with other HBC banners,” confirmed communications manager Tiffany Bourré.

The survival of the name contrasts with the scene at the other remaining Zellers stores across the country, which are in the process of liquidating their merchandise, through a process that has met with some criticism on social media. Some prices have been reported as higher than they were before Christmas.

Liquidation company Hilco has also used the opportunity to attempt to move merchandise that wasn’t stocked by Zellers to begin with.

But shoppers will presumably complain less as discounts increase closer to the date when the doors close for good — except in the places where the Zellers flag will still fly.

======


Zellers store to stay open at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

By Christopher Poon, Now
January 10, 2013

The Zellers at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre will stay open until further notice.

That was the news this week following a decision by the Hudson's Bay Company to keep the store open beyond the previously-announced closure date of March 2013.

The decision to close the store had been made following U.S. retailer Target's purchase of many Zellers stores across Canada. Those not purchased by Target were slated to be shut down.

"After a review of the site locations not acquired by Target, Zellers has decided to continue to operate three stores beyond March 2013 under the Zellers name," said Tiffany Bourré, senior manager of external communications with HBC.

In addition to the South Surrey location remaining open, two other Zellers stores - one in Montreal and another in Toronto - will also remain open.

According to Bourré, the stores were chosen "based on opportunities in the market."

As for how the store will change, Bourré said they would be redesigning the current Zellers model from as it stands currently.

"Zellers will redefine the store format to focus on fashion apparel and a refined home product offering, with a shared merchandise mix with other HBC banners," she said.

The store will remain open during the transition period, and Bourré said there would be no disruptions to operations once the change is underway.

Current staff positions may be redefined, meaning those hoping to remain at Zellers may have to re-apply for those positions.

"The majority of associates will be given the opportunity to apply for a new position, based on the store business model," said Bourré. "Those who remain will continue their service without disruption to seniority or other benefits."
 
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officedweller

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On SSP, someone said HBC couldn't get out of their Semiahmooo lease and was going to open as a mini Hudson's Bay store - guess that would have depreciated the repositioned store...
 

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Hudson’s Bay revamps loyalty card program


National Post
Hollie Shaw | Jan 31, 2013 7:46 AM ET | Last Updated: Jan 31, 2013 8:59 AM ET

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. is overhauling its rewards programs in a bid to encourage its best customers to spend more money.

Cannily launched the same month Target begins offering its loyalty card to Canadians in advance of its March opening, the rewards program was revamped because consumer response to its HBC Rewards card — a legacy of former management, launched in 2001 — has become somewhat tepid.

“Top line, the card is very highly held by consumers, but not very highly valued,” said Patrick Dickinson, senior-vice president of brand strategy at HBC. “They participated, but it wasn’t something that really excited them. There were a lot who were collecting points passively.”

Participation rate in the legacy program had also fallen off: With an active user base of 4.6-million customers, at its peak the number of active users was about twice that, Mr. Dickinson said.

Under the new program, “whatever they spend [in overall retail], it is about getting them to spend more of it with us,” Mr. Dickinson said.

The monetary point value remains the same in the new Hudson’s Bay Rewards card, which will debut Sunday: whereas it used to be 50 HBC Rewards points were accrued for every dollar spent at the Bay or Home Outfitters for holders of the rewards card, and 100 points per dollar spent on the company’s credit card, now it is one point per dollar spent and 1.5 points on the credit card.

But now, bigger spenders get rewarded more. Once customers spend more than $400 in a calendar year, every dollar spent at the till is worth 1.5 points and every credit dollar is worth $3. Once a shopper hits $1,200 in a calendar year, the redemption value doubles from the entry point of the program, to 2 points for every dollar spent on the rewards card and 4 points per dollar spent on the credit card.

Those those who are currently enrolled in that will be automatically transferred to the new Hudson’s Bay Rewards program, he said.

Loyalty programs are prized by shoppers, with 94% of Canadians belonging to at least one, according to a 2011 report from Maritz Canada Inc.

Despite lacklustre participation compared with the past, it has also enriched HBC, whose 3.1-million credit card holders accounted for 34% of sales at the Bay and Home Outfitters in fiscal 2011.

Rewards points can also be earned outside of HBC stores on credit card purchases and will get a 25% semi- annual bonus on those points. Point accumulation is doubled when the credit card is used in combination with the Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card.

The news follows an announcement from Target Canada that people can begin applying in February for its Target Red Card, a loyalty debit card that offers 5% off every shopping trip. More than 30,000 Canadians already have the card, according to Target, which will begin opening the first of 124 stores in 2013 in March.
 

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