Canadian department store retailer Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) is set to expand its European presence with plans for up to 20 new stores in the Netherlands over the next two years.

The company, which is currently finalising long term leases, expects to launch its first stores in the summer of 2017, which will operate under both the Hudson's Bay and Saks Off 5th banners.

Richard Baker, governor and chairman of HBC, said the move is a 'natural extension' of the company's existing presence in Belgium along with plans to enter Luxembourg.

He added: "This is an extremely compelling opportunity to invest in the Dutch market, leverage the iconic Hudson's Bay brand and introduce what will be the only nationwide all-channel premium department store."

The expansion is expected to create more than 2,500 store jobs, 2,500 construction jobs and EUR300m in capital investments, most of which will be funded through landlord incentives.

The news comes shortly after HBC delivered what it says are solid first-quarter sales, thanks to the ongoing strength of its namesake brand in Canada, and positive revenue growth in Europe. Chief executive Jerry Storch said the results reflected HBC's 'diversification across both geography and retail concepts.'

Hudson's Bay delivers "solid" Q1