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February 22, 2019

HBC likely to close up to 20 Saks Off 5th US stores

By Beth Wright

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) expects to close up to 20 of its Saks Off 5th locations in the US as part of a review of the entire fleet of 133 stores.

In a statement, the Canadian retailer said the move is designed to allow the company to focus on its best locations and saksoff5th.com.

It has also announced the closure of its Home Outfitters business in Canada, noting the actions are part of its strategic plan to reduce costs, simplify the business and improve overall profitability.

The news is the latest in a series of what HBC CEO Helena Foulkes calls “bold strategic actions”, including the sale of its member-based digital shopping business Gilt to US apparel and homewares retailer Rue La La, and plans to shutter up to ten Lord & Taylor stores this year, including the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue. 

More recently, the company completed a deal with retail estate business Signa Holding to merge their respective retail operations and the formation of the companies’ real estate joint venture.

Now, Foulkes says further streamlining HBC’s retail portfolio will allow the company to focus on its businesses with the strongest growth opportunities.

“The divestiture of Gilt, rightsizing of Lord & Taylor, the recent merger of our European retail operations in Germany, and today’s announcement exemplify the bold strategic actions we are taking to set HBC up for long-term success. We know this news is difficult for our associates. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to serve our customers and we will work to find opportunities within HBC for impacted team members where possible.”

Once completed, the closures are expected to be slightly favorable to adjusted EBITDA.

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