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

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Visited The Bay store at Centrepoint yesterday and found that they top level has been completely emptied out. There were signs posted up saying they were renovating. All the men’s clothing has been shifted to the main floor and there seems to be an area that will be designated for a Top Shop.
 

Richard White

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Visited The Bay store at Centrepoint yesterday and found that they top level has been completely emptied out. There were signs posted up saying they were renovating. All the men’s clothing has been shifted to the main floor and there seems to be an area that will be designated for a Top Shop.

They did this with Sears at the STC just before they closed...
 

Towered

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Visited The Bay store at Centrepoint yesterday and found that they top level has been completely emptied out. There were signs posted up saying they were renovating. All the men’s clothing has been shifted to the main floor and there seems to be an area that will be designated for a Top Shop.

"Renovating" - LOL! Who do they think they're fooling?
 

WislaHD

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I noticed that QuadReal has purchased two large warehouses from Hudson's Bay in Brampton and Etobicoke last week. Those types of assets are only appreciating in value these days, so selling them marks yet another concerning sign.
 

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Visited The Bay store at Centrepoint yesterday and found that they top level has been completely emptied out. There were signs posted up saying they were renovating. All the men’s clothing has been shifted to the main floor and there seems to be an area that will be designated for a Top Shop.
"Renovating" - LOL! Who do they think they're fooling?

Hmmm.

No inside info on this one, but I too find it unlikely Centrepoint would get a facelift.

It's also abnormal for Hudson's Bay to close a floor entirely during renos.

They would more typically close 1/4 to 1/2, tarp it off.

Also, not the normal time in the cycle for this. (renos, where possible happen during the off-season, not Christmas); sometimes unavoidable.......
 

Northern Light

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Saks's store (HBC-owned) is the subject of foreclosure proceedings in Miami. Collateral includes several other locations. (in the U.S., I believe)

 

Richard White

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While I was around for the demise of Eatons I was only 11 at the time so perhaps someone can refresh my memory here. How does the current situation with the Bay compare to the demise of Eatons?
 

Northern Light

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While I was around for the demise of Eatons I was only 11 at the time so perhaps someone can refresh my memory here. How does the current situation with the Bay compare to the demise of Eatons?

I don't think Eaton's was willfully sabotaged the way Sears appears to have been and HBC increasingly feels like it may be.

Eaton's was more a victim of neglect by a generation of the family that had lost touch w/the business, along with too many bad locations and too much debt.

The chain was then bought be Sears who resuscitated it briefly as a much downsized 7 -stores (I think) chain, that went more upmarket.

I actually thought they did a good job.

But then the person responsible for Sears Canada reviving Eatons lost out on the big job of running Sears overall and left the company; the Eaton's brand was almost immediately folded.

Sears then spent money to make the stores look cheaper to fit the Sears motif; and cut the size of many as well. Moving their head office for Canada into the upper floors of the TEC location.
 
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Northern Light

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Will The Bay try its version of Aubergine?

I would argue HBC already has, and with some success. The remodeled, flagship stores (pre-pandemic) were mostly preforming well (meaning profitable).

HBC's problems have been in selling off strategic property, its parent company buying and selling U.S. and European retailers without any clear strategy in support of that; and the failure
to either upgrade or cut a number of low-performing stores.

They don't need a huge remake; they need competent management, core assets and investment.
 

lenaitch

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I don't think Eaton's was willfully sabotaged the way Sears appears to have been and HBC increasingly feels like it may be.

Eaton's was more a victim of neglect by a generation of the family that had lost touch w/the business, along with too many bad locations and too much debt.

The chain was then bought be Sears who resuscitated it briefly as a much downsized 7 -stores (I think) chain, that went more upmarket.

I actually thought they did a good job.

But then the person responsible for Sears Canada reviving Eatons lost out on the big job of running Sears overall and left the company; and the Eaton's brand was almost immediately folded.

Sears then spent money to make the stores look cheaper to fit the Sears motif; and cut the size of many as well. Moving their head office for Canada into the upper floors of the TEC location.

I agree. I think that level of gradual ossification and ultimate decline is not that unusual in multi-generational companies. When you think about it, not only were they dominant in bricks-and-mortar retail but also mail order - the early version of online shopping. In urban areas they used their own fleet but out in the booines used rail and parcel express (back in the day, you could buy a house and have it shipped to the closest station to your homestead on the prairies).

I'm not enough of a retail analyst to understand what specific factors were their undoing; it pre-dates the dominance of Amazon and more aligns with Walmart. I wonder if the family members in charge would have had the humility to bring in outside expertise they might have survived at least longer.

Regarding HBC, I was in their Barrie store a few weeks ago and also found a significant part of the store closed off for 'renovations' and thought the timing was odd. I can't say I've found their website particularly worse than many other retailers. It is a weak point for several. It seems that, increasingly, retailers are trying to carry more inventory but lack the space, so the number of items 'available online only' increases, but you can't get at them because of website problems (Canadian Tire, I'm talking to you, here). As far as online indication of store inventory, I can't say I've ever trusted any of them.
 

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Regarding HBC, I was in their Barrie store a few weeks ago and also found a significant part of the store closed off for 'renovations' and thought the timing was odd.

🤨

Hmmm.

110% speculation here..............

But might a company that isn't paying rent on many of its locations; a company facing legal actions, including possible foreclosure by landlords, consider shifting merchandise out of stores on which they are not paying rent to avoid having it seized as chattels?
 

Richard White

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🤨

Hmmm.

110% speculation here..............

But might a company that isn't paying rent on many of its locations; a company facing legal actions, including possible foreclosure by landlords, consider shifting merchandise out of stores on which they are not paying rent to avoid having it seized as chattels?

I wonder how long they can keep doing this. If they were truly looking to shift away merchandise though why only one floor and not the entire store.
 

syn

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I would argue HBC already has, and with some success. The remodeled, flagship stores (pre-pandemic) were mostly preforming well (meaning profitable).

HBC's problems have been in selling off strategic property, its parent company buying and selling U.S. and European retailers without any clear strategy in support of that; and the failure
to either upgrade or cut a number of low-performing stores.

They don't need a huge remake; they need competent management, core assets and investment.

I'd like to see them make some wise strategic moves when it comes to ecommerce. I recall this article from 4 years ago:


It was cute that he figured their $60 million warehouse put them in a position to compete with Amazon. Wish it were true.

Amazon is here to stay, but I feel like Hudson's Bay could be a lot more competitive in Canada.
 

Richard White

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Amazon is here to stay, but I feel like Hudson's Bay could be a lot more competitive in Canada.

At one point they were but then they went high end luxury. Now when I want clothes I go elsewhere because I cannot be bothered to spend 100 dollars or more on a shirt.

Everything they sell is so astronomically overpriced.
 

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