Hudson's Bay (retailer)

Hudson's Bay (formerly and still colloquially known as The Bay) is a chain of 90 department stores that operate in Canada and the Netherlands.[5] It is the main brand of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), North America's oldest company.[6] It has its headquarters in the Simpson Tower in Toronto.[7] In French, the chain is known as la Baie d'Hudson (formerly la Baie), short for "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson". The chain uses both the English and French versions of the name in some parts of Canada.

Hudson's Bay
Founded2 May 1670 (1670-05-02) [1][2][3][4]
HeadquartersSimpson Tower
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
Area served
Canada, Netherlands
ProductsClothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewellery, beauty products, electronics, and housewares.
ParentHudson's Bay Company

The stores are full-line department stores, with a focus on high-end fashion apparel, accessories, and home goods. Flagship downtown stores are located in Canada's largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, often being multi-storey, historic buildings. They carry a bigger range and selection of goods than regular Hudson's Bay stores. The largest of the flagship stores is the Toronto store on Queen Street, at about 93,000 square metres (1,000,000 sq ft).[8] Toronto has another smaller store along the Mink Mile at Bloor Street East and Yonge Street in the Hudson's Bay Centre.


The origin of the Hudson's Bay Company's department store format can be traced to 1881, when the company opened its first department store in Winnipeg, Manitoba, under its proper name "Hudson's Bay Company". From 1881 up until 1960, all "Hudson's Bay Company" stores were located in Western Canada and the Canadian Arctic.

In 1960, the HBC acquired Morgan's, a Montreal department chain with stores in Ontario and the island of Montreal. That same year, all the Morgan's stores in Ontario were converted to the "Hudson's Bay Company" brand. In 1965, the "Hudson's Bay Company" branded stores were renamed as "The Bay" (which had long been used as a shortened nickname for the stores); they adopted a logo designed by Lippincott & Margulies, which featured a stylized "B" seen on the header of HBC's royal charter from 1670.[9] Its stores in Quebec maintained the Morgan's name until 1972, when they were re-branded as "La Baie".[10][11][12] That same year, Hudson's Bay purchased Ottawa's Freimans department store and moved from the former Morgan's building on Sparks Street to the Freiman building on Rideau Street, closer to competing Ogilvy's and Caplan's.

The Bay further expanded its presence between 1989 and 1991 in Eastern Canada by absorbing the Simpsons department store chain, and 1993 in Western Canada by taking over many former Woodward's outlets.[13] The Toronto Queen Street flagship store was previously a Simpsons department store. In 1991, Hudson's Bay Company stopped selling fur.[14] In 1997 the company reopened its fur salons, including a wider assortment of high-end designer furs. Fur salons included many exclusive fur designers, including Louis Féraud, Givenchy, Black Diamond Mink, and Grosvenor.

On 16 July 2008, it was announced that Hudson's Bay Company had been purchased by the US firm NRDC Equity Partners, which owned Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff.[15]

In August 2008, Bonnie Brooks was hired as president and chief executive officer of the Hudson's Bay Company.[16] As the result of market research, Brooks began to focus on bolstering high-end fashion as a growth segment. These moves included a major revamp of the chain's selection of labels, and a renovation and relaunch of The Room—a luxury women's department at the Queen Street location. During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a heritage-oriented campaign was used to promote The Bay and an accompanying line of Olympic-themed apparel, which was considered to be a significant success.[17][18] In 2010, the Queen Street location saw a 22% increase in year-over-year sales. In 2011, The Bay launched White Space—a new younger-skewing "contemporary" department—at selected locations.[19][20]

During its initial public offering in October 2012, HBC announced that it would be re-branding The Bay's stores under the name "Hudson's Bay",[21] marking the chain's first major re-branding since 1965. The new brand, designed by the New York City-based advertising agency Lipman, was officially introduced in March 2013. Reflecting on the company's heritage, the chain's new logo also incorporates an updated rendition of the Hudson's Bay Company coat of arms.[9] HBC did not provide a timeline for the conversion of the exterior signage to the new name on all of its stores.[22]

On August 31, 2019, the company announced that all 15 of its Dutch locations would close by year end, the final chapter of HBC's "ill-fated European venture", according to Bloomberg News. Until as recently as March 2019 Hudson's Bay was opening new stores in the country.[23][24] On November 28, 2019 Hudson's Bay announced that it had filed for a suspension of payments in the Netherlands.[25]


The Room

The Room is a luxury boutique found in selected Hudson's Bay locations, which features a curated selection of women's apparel from upscale brands such as Balmain, Emmanuel Ungaro, Halston, Gianfranco Ferre, Giorgio Armani, Moschino, and others.[26] Nicholas Mellamphy is the vice-president and buying director of The Room.[27]

Its namesake at the Yonge & Queen location in Toronto was established in the 1930's as the St. Regis Room, dating back to its time as a Simpsons store. It underwent a major renovation in 2009 by the design firm Yabu Pushelberg, with an increase to 2,000 square metres (21,500 sq ft) in floor space, and expanding its stock from around 12 brands to 70 (including more "moderately-priced" options). The $5.3 million renovation was positioned by Brooks as part of a plan to increase The Bay's focus on high-end fashion; there were also plans to expand The Room as a featured department at other flagship locations.[20][19]

The Room opened at the downtown Vancouver location in 2011, in the north-east section of the second floor. The 2,100 square metres (23,000 sq ft) department includes many of the designers available in the Toronto Queen Street flagship store, and some not available in the flagship store, including DSquared², Jeremy Liang, and Sid Neigum.[28][29]

The Room opened in the Downtown Montreal Hudson's Bay store in late 2013.[30] The Toronto version of The Room was relocated to a different part of the store in 2015 to accommodate a new Saks Fifth Avenue location.[31][32]

West End Shop

The West End Shop is the Men's version of The Room. The Toronto Queen Street and the Vancouver Granville West End Shops recently underwent an extensive renovation. The current collection contains labels such as Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani Collezioni, Ben Sherman, and Strellson.[33][34]

Hudson's Bay Company Signature Shop

The Bay offers products from the Hudson's Bay Company Collection a dedicated store, including items such as the iconic Point Blanket, coats, bed sheets, bags, T-shirts, lotions, scents, and candles. HBC has also partnered with Canadian companies like Virginia Johnson, Pink Tartan, and Klaxon Howl to create exclusive, limited edition merchandise. Customized canoes and oars are also available. HBC has also teamed up with international companies for limited edition products, such as Steiff (heritage teddy bear, limited run of 2 500), and Best Made Axe Co.[35]

While the Hudson's Bay Company shops appear mainly in flagship stores and its Banff, Alberta location, products from the Hudson's Bay Company Collection (not including limited edition items) are also available at other locations, most notably the Point Blanket.

The four-point stripes have also been trademarked worldwide, and are planned to be sold through international retailers which including Lord & Taylor in the US, and Colette in France, in an attempt to market HBC as a brand.[36]

Ralph Lauren Boutiques

Boutiques for Ralph Lauren are in select locations, including Queen Street, Yorkdale, Bayshore Ottawa, Carrefour Laval, Galeries d'Anjou, Vancouver Downtown, Victoria Downtown, Laurier Québec, and Montreal Downtown. Each boutique contains customized decor, and dedicated company specialists.[37]

Further expansion

The Toronto Queen Street and Montreal Downtown store has opened ground floor boutiques for Burberry, Coach Leathergoods, and See by Chloé. Vancouver and Montreal ground-floor designer boutiques will follow.[37]

Hudson's Bay has ended its partnership with Saint-Laurent-based Browns Shoes, and closed all Browns locations in its stores, to allow the department store to offer a larger selection of shoes, and to partner with the Montreal-based ALDO Group. Hudson's Bay is now also offering higher-end brands, keeping in line with offerings from The Room and the West End Shop. The partnership with the Aldo Group began in spring 2011 when the revived Pegabo brand of footwear is going to be carried in Hudson's Bay and in Aldo's own FeetFirst and Locale locations.[38]

The website includes online shopping for home fashions and beauty products, and a gift registry.

See also


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  2. "Our History". The Hudson's Bay Company. 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  3. "Hudson's Bay Company History". Government of Manitoba. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  4. "HBC Heritage - Canada's Merchants Since 1670". The Hudson's Bay Company. 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  5. "A Canadian Style Legacy". Hudson's Bay Company. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. Williams, Pat (24 October 2009). "Hudson's Bay Company". Canadiana Connection. Archived from the original on 28 February 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  7. "Contacts". Hudson's Bay Company. Archived from the original on 8 June 2004. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  8. "Tourism Toronto | What to Do - Shopping". Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  9. "New logo, old name: The Bay returns to its roots". The Globe and Mail. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  10. "The Hudson's Bay Company unveils new logo for Canada's oldest department store". Toronto Star. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  11. Infantry, Ashante (6 March 2013). "The Hudson's Bay Company unveils new logo for Canada's oldest department store". Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  12. "HBC Heritage". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  13. "Hbc Heritage | Heritage Home". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  14. Newman, Kevin (30 January 1991). "Hudson's Bay Company end its fur trade". CBC News. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  15. Flavelle, Dana (16 July 2008). "HBC sold to new U.S. owner". Toronto: CBC News. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  16. Flavelle, Dana (5 August 2008). "Bonnie Brooks taking over Bay chain". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  17. Strauss, Marina (28 November 2013). "Meet the man trying to shake up luxury retail in Canada". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  18. Abe, Fraser (2 March 2010). "The Hudson's Bay Company fights to keep Olympic energy". Toronto Life. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  19. "In Fashion". Marketing. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  20. "The Room returns as the Bay adds luxury". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  21. Strauss, Marina (17 October 2012). "HBC launches IPO as new rivals loom". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  22. "Hudson's Bay Celebrates Its Past, Present and Future with Modern New Logo". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  23., Hudson's Bay Sells European Stake, Might Go Private
  24., Hudson’s Bay to Close Dutch Unit and Dismiss 1,400 Workers: Report
  25., Hudson's Bay Nederland vraagt uistel van betaling aan
  26. Flavelle, Dana (7 June 2009). "Bonnie Brooks: Homecoming queen". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  27. Chetty, Derick (12 October 2012). "Paris Fashion Week: Behind the scenes with Hudson's Bay `The Room' buyer". Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  28. Gill, Adam (6 June 2011). "The Room II: The Bay announces the opening of its luxury store in Vancouver". Fashion. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  29. Morra, Bernadette (19 March 2015). "Why Sid Neigum is Canada's latest designer to watch". Fashion. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  30. "'The Room' Coming to The Hudson's Bay Company in Montreal, Fall 2013". Retail Insider. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  31. "Saks Fifth Avenue prepared to open in Toronto". Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  32. "Original 'The Room' at Hudson's Bay Relocates and Downsizes [With Photos]". Retail Insider. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  33. "Can Steve Yzerman make The Bay relevant again?". 5 October 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  34. "The Bay West End Shop Fall 2010 Menswear Preview". 6 October 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  35. Sardone, Andrew. "Hudson's Bay Company Collection boutique". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  36. McLaren, Leah (1 November 2010). "The Bay vs. Holts: the Bay's scheme to steal the fashion crown from Holts". Toronto Life. Archived from the original on 3 November 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  37. 20 April 2013 5:09 PM EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (7 June 2009). "Bonnie Brooks: Homecoming queen". Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  38. Strauss, Marina (3 September 2010). "Aldo's global footprint". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
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