Hudson's Bay cancels further expansion in the Netherlands
Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay will not further expand in the Netherlands. Initial plans to open 20 department stores across the Netherlands have been narrowed to 15.
In an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, published today, Stefaan Le Clair, General Manager at Hudson's Bay Netherlands revealed: “We have decided to focus on the fifteen cities [in development] for the time being. What we want to do, we want to do very well,” he explained.
In September 2017 Hudson’s Bay landed in the Netherlands with the opening of its first branch in Amsterdam, a first outside of Canada. In recent months additional branches followed across the country, bringing its current total to 10 Hudson’s Bay stores as well as two Saks Off Fifth concepts.
In the newspaper interview, Le Clair denies that there are financial problems with the Dutch operations: "The sales do not disappoint me. We have only been in business for five months. In that short time amount we have achieved an incredible performance with a completely new team. But there is still a lot of work to be done. Especially in Amsterdam: we expected more of that [branch],” he told the newspaper.
However, Hudson’s Bay did receive criticism from Dutch customers. They argued that the stores are too expensive and often compare it to the now bankrupt Dutch department store chain V&D, which had a lower price range. In response to the criticism, 25 cheaper brands will be added to the store offer. There will also be more sales offers and a more extensive food department should add to the customer experience, wrote Algemeen Dagblad.
On a more positive note, Hudson’s Bay also announced today that it will open three branches this spring, which will be located in Enschede, Amersfoort and Haarlem. Two additional Hudson’s Bay stores are also planned to open in Utrecht and Amstelveen in 2019. The latter was set to open later this year, but is now moved to a later date.
In 2016, parent company Hudson’s Bay Company first announced that it would enter the Dutch market. The expansion plans followed the company’s 2015 European debut with the purchase of the German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof, which included 102 Galeria Kaufhof stores in Germany and 16 locations under the name Galeria Inno in Belgium.
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