Thursday 17 October 2019

Holes in the high street: Hudson’s Bay confirms all 15 Dutch stores will close

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

The Hudson’s Bay department store group has confirmed it will close its 15 stores in the Netherlands at the end of this year, three weeks after the Financieele Dagblad reported on the plans.

The department store group’s 1,400 Dutch workers were told about the closure on Thursday afternoon and will be given a ‘reasonable’ redundancy package, trade union De Unie said.

The closures will leave 15 large city centre premises empty and will cost the company €51m a year in rent – or €400m over the full guarantee period, the Financieele Dagblad said.

In June, the Canadian company sold  its minority stake in its European operations – excluding the Dutch interests – to Austrian investment company Sigma, and took back sole ownership of the Dutch operation. It said at the time some stores would close.

Prior to that, 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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