New York – HBC Netherlands BV, owned by a joint venture of Hudson’s Bay Co. and Signa Retail Holdings, has recently announced it will close its 15 Hudson’s Bay stores, e-commerce site and headquarters in the Netherlands by December 31, 2019.
The closings are not expected to have any impact on the day-to-day operations of the Hudson’s Bay business in Canada, the retailer stated. However, Dutch News recalls how earlier this month the ‘Financieele Dagblad’ reported on the shopping centres’ operator’s plans, saying that the company’s 1,400 Dutch workers were told about the closure. In this vein, sources quoted by the Dutch paper said the company’s staff in the country would be given a “reasonable’ redundancy package”.
Dutch media pinpointed that the closures will leave 15 large city centre premises empty and will cost the company 51 million euros a year in rent – or 400 million euros over the full guarantee period, per the ‘Financieele Dagblad’s report.
Hudson’s Bay sold its European business to a local partner earlier this year
It’s worth recalling that back n 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 their owned Saks Off 5th would close its doors in Amsterdam and Rotterdam at the end of June.
‘The Telegraaf’ reported at the end of last year that the company lost more than 80 million euros in the Netherlands in 2018.
Hudson’s Bay’s joint venture with Signa comprises German, Belgium and Netherlands operations. “As part of HBC’s agreement with SIGNA to divest its interest in the European retail joint venture, Hudson’s Bay Netherlands is expected to transfer wholly to HBC, upon the transaction’s closing, which is anticipated to occur during the fall of 2019,” Hudson’s Bay stated.
Hudson’s Bay portfolio includes more than 300 stores across North America, including brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord + Taylor, and Saks Off 5th. It also has several joint ventures in addition to that, having for example partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trustin the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture. HBC has partnered with SIGNA Retail Holdings for real estate and retail joint ventures in Europe.
Image: Hudson’s Bay, Amsterdam. Credits: Steven Lek, Wikipedia Commons