Tuesday 11 August 2020

Hudson’s Bay sells European operations, future for Dutch stores unclear

Hudson’s Bay in Amsterdam. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Canadian department store group Hudson’s Bay is selling its minority stake in its European operations – excluding the Dutch interests – to Austrian investment company Sigma, which currently owns just over half the shares.

It is unclear what the takeover means for the 15 Hudson’s Bay stores in the Netherlands, which are known to be struggling, but some closures are likely.

‘HBC will assume ownership of the Netherlands retail business, and release Signa from its 50.01% back-to-back guarantee of certain obligations of Hudson’s Bay Netherlands,’ the company said in a statement on Monday.

‘HBC has retained a financial advisor to review options for the Netherlands business, which has not performed to expectations,’ the company said. ‘As HBC pursues options, the company expects to undertake cost savings initiatives including, among others, certain store closures.’

In April the company said that the Hudson’s Bat offshoot Saks Off 5th would close its doors in Amsterdam and Rotterdam at the end of June.

And the Telegraaf reported at the end of last year that the company lost more than €80m in the Netherlands in 2018.

At the end of 2017, the company changed its strategy in the Netherlands to bring in cheaper product lines and last February plans to open a total of 20 department stores were scrapped.

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