Canada's HBC Expands into the Netherlands

Hudson's Bay Company, the Canadian retail giant, is expanding its business brand to the Netherlands. The iconic retailer's first store in the Netherlands will be opened on Tuesday 12 September, 2017. This is the first time that Hbc has expanded its business outside of Canada.

Jerry Storch, the chief executive of Hudson's Bay Co. says that bringing the iconic department store brand to the Netherlands wasn't his original plan, but feedback from local shoppers suggested the country could use more Canadiana — and a few of those Bay blankets, as reported by CBC News. The company will also open nine more stores in the Netherlands this month anf will further open five more in 2018.

The chief executive of the company acknowledges that this move is an aggressive push into new territory. However, they could not miss the opportunity to fill the void created by bankrupt Dutch chain V&D. The condition seems right to quickly draw the attention of the local customer base.

"There was a big gap in the Dutch market between a very high-end luxury player and the discount chains," Jerry Storch said.

"We looked at all the markets in the country."

Initially, the company executives were planning to simply expand the business of their Belgium-based retail chain, Inno, into the Netherlands. However, they realized that not everyone in the Netherlands favoured the idea of a neighbouring country setting up shop on its home turf. Hence, they decided to expand Hbc's business into the western European country.

"The Dutch people kept telling us, 'We don't want the Inno brand,"' Storch said.

"We couldn't believe it. Even the guys at the hotel restaurant would tell us, 'No, bring Hudson's Bay here."'

So Hbc, which owns a number of other banners including Saks and Lord & Taylor, chose to make Hudson's Bay its top priority in the region. Another two discount stores under the Saks Off 5th name will open before the end of the year.

Hbc is Canada's largest diversified general merchandise retailer with over 600 retail locations and nearly 60,000 associates located in every province in Canada. Hbc's four banners are the Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Fields.

The Bay is the department store division of Hbc. With locations from coast to coast to coast, the Bay is a full line department store chain concentrating on exclusive fashion merchandise in apparel, accessories and soft home categories.

Consumers in the Netherlands can now access the same quality merchandise offered by Hbc across its stores.

Source: CBC News

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