Department store chain Hudson's Bay struggles in the Netherlands

The Dutch branches of department store chain Hudson’s Bay, part of the Austrian Signa Retail Holding since September, are struggling.


Hudson's Bay Amsterdam store - Hudson's Bay

According to newspaper De Telegraaf, the 13 Dutch branches will record a loss of more than €80 million at the end of the 2018 financial year, which will possibly result in a round of layoffs, the paper reported based on internal documents.

Hudson’s Bay first entered the Dutch market in September of 2017 with the opening of a branch in Amsterdam, a first outside of Canada. Additional branches followed across the country as well the introduction of the Saks Off Fifth concept.

However, while the retailer initially planned to open 20 department stores in the Netherlands these plans were soon narrowed to 15, after only five months of landing in the country.

Within those five months, Hudson’s Bay soon started to receive criticism from Dutch customers. They argued that the stores are too expensive and often compared it to the now-bankrupt Dutch department store chain V&D, which had a lower price range. In response to the criticism, 25 cheaper brands were added to the store offer. At the time, the department store chain also said that it would offer more discounts and a more extensive food department.

Still, Hudson’s Bay plans to open two additional branches in the Netherlands, one in Utrecht and a shop in Amstelveen. According to financial news site RTL Z, these upcoming openings will not be cancelled since the retailer agreed upon a long-term lease for 16 properties in the country. A cancellation of these or the shutting down all existing stores would result in too large of a claim.

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