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Canada's Hudson's Bay to close Dutch stores

Published
today Sep 2, 2019
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Canada's iconic department store chain Hudson's Bay is to close its doors in the Netherlands at the end of the year leading to 1,400 job losses, Dutch media said Saturday.

AFP


Two years after the 349-year-old company opened its very first overseas store in Amsterdam, "Hudson's Bay will leave the Netherlands," the authoritative financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad reported, based on internal company documents.

"Due to the long-term financially untenable situation, the shareholders in HBC have decided to stop further financing... and close the stores in the Netherlands by the end of 2019," the paper quoted the Hudson's Bay Company as saying.

The paper added 1,424 jobs would be lost and 15 stores will be closed.

Hudson's Bay opened its Amsterdam store with much fanfare in September 2017, hoping to buck a trend seen on Dutch shopping streets in recent years where a number of large chains have been shuttered.

The Canadian company, incorporated in 1670 and built up on the fur trade, took over stores previously occupied by the much-loved but ultimately defunct Dutch chain Vroom & Dreesmann (V&D), which sold everything from confectionary to own-brand vacuum cleaners.

Once the country's biggest department store chain after being founded in 1887, V&D declared bankruptcy in late 2015 after years of losses and finally shut down several months later.

Many other retailers are also hard hit by the rapid rise of online shopping. 

"Hudson's Bay gave the fading confidence in retail trade in many Dutch cities a boost," the centre-left De Volkskrant said.

"But the Canadian warehouse giant chose the wrong price segment, the wrong target group and the wrong marketing strategy," it said.

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