Hudson's Bay Netherlands appoints new CEO, focuses on reinvention
Austrian retail holding Signa, owner of the Dutch branches of Hudson’s Bay, announced on Wednesday that it has appointed Armin Devender as the new CEO of Hudson’s Bay Netherlands.
Devender, who succeeds interim CEO Stefaan Le Clair, joins the company from German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof. At Hudson’s Bay Netherlands, Devender will be tasked with broadening the retailer’s customer base as well as the adjustment of the store sizes.
According to Dutch media, the appointment signals the retailer’s struggle in the country, which is why the new CEO is set to focus on the “difficult task” of reinventing Hudson’s Bay in the Netherlands.
In December 2018, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the Canadian department store chain had been struggling in the Netherlands. According to internal documents obtained by the newspaper, Hudson’s Bay will record a loss of more than €80 million at the end of the 2018 financial year, which could possibly result in a round of layoffs.
Earlier in 2018, the retailer itself announced that it had cancelled its plans to further expand in the country: after only five months after landing in the Netherlands, the initial plans for 20 department stores were narrowed to just 15 branches.
In addition, Hudson’s Bay also started to receive criticism from Dutch customers, who argued that the stores were too expensive and often compared it to the Dutch department store chain V&D, which had a lower price range (V&D disappeared from the Dutch high street following a bankruptcy in 2015, but relaunched as a web store in 2018). In response to the criticism, Hudson’s Bay added 25 cheaper brands to its range.
Despite the financial struggle and criticism, Hudson’s Bay still plans to open two additional branches in Utrecht and Amstelveen, which should bring the number of branches in the Netherlands to 15.
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