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May 7, 2019

HBC mulls Lord & Taylor sale or merger

By Beth Wright

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is pursuing strategic alternatives for its Lord & Taylor department stores, including a possible sale or merger of the business.

In a statement yesterday (6 May), the Canadian retailer said the move is in line with wider plans to simplify its organisation, strengthen its retail operations and unlock the value of its real estate.

HBC has retained PJ Solomon as its financial advisor for the review of the Lord & Taylor, which reached annual revenue of CAD$1.4bn in 2018 and has more than 40 stores in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic US.

“This review of strategic alternatives for Lord & Taylor is another example of how we are exploring options to position HBC for long-term success,” said HBC CEO Helena Foulkes. “Over the last year, we’ve taken bold actions and made fundamental fixes that have resulted in a far stronger, more capable HBC, having returned to positive operating cash flow, increased profitability and strengthened the balance sheet.

Earlier this year, it revealed plans to close up to 20 of its Saks Off 5th locations in the US and the closure of its Home Outfitters business in Canada. HBO has also sold its member-based digital shopping business Gilt to US apparel and homewares retailer Rue La La. 

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