(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Home Outfitters will be closing in 2019, a total of 37 stores across Canada, as HBC makes changes to reduce costs, simplify its businesses and improve profits.

“Further streamlining our retail portfolio enables even greater focus on our businesses with the strongest growth opportunities. The divestiture of Gilt, rightsizing of Lord & Taylor, the recent merger of our European retail operations in Germany, and today’s announcement exemplify the bold strategic actions we are taking to set HBC up for long-term success,” said Helena Foulkes, HBC’s chief executive officer. “We know this news is difficult for our associates. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to serve our customers and we will work to find opportunities within HBC for impacted team members where possible.”

HBC also announced on Thursday that it will be reviewing and rationalizing its SAKS OFF 5th operations, keeping its best locations and focusing more on its SAKS OFF 5th website. The company anticipates closing up to 20 of those stores in the U.S.

The announcement includes details for Home Outfitters customers. The vast majority of markets in which Home Outfitters operates are served by Hudson’s Bay which accepts Home Outfitters gift cards. B.C. Home Outfitters are located in Kelowna, Langley, Coquitlam, Victoria, and North Nanaimo.

Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes 350 stores and more than 45,000 employees around the world. HBC North American businesses include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, and Saks OFF 5TH.

HBC also has significant investments in joint ventures. It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture. HBC has partnered with SIGNA Retail Holdings for real estate and retail joint ventures in Europe.

HBC announced its third quarter results in December, posting a net loss of $124 million, compared to $116 million the previous year. It has also recently sold some lucrative property in New York, using the funds to pay down its debt of $3.98 billion (as of Nov. 3, 2018).

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