The company, which owns and operates Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and its own branded stores, will continue its European expansion with the launch of up to 20 stores in the Netherlands over the next 24 months.
HBC said it has finalized and is in the process of finalizing long-term leases for “select, sought-after locations.”
The first stores, which will launch in summer 2017, will operate under the Hudson’s Bay banner as well as the Saks Off 5th banner.
“The expansion into the Netherlands will build on HBC Europe’s existing infrastructure and will utilize the same platforms such as information technology, procurement and digital support,” the company said in a release. “Build-out of the stores will be funded primarily by the relevant landlords, and HBC will invest in the operational aspects of the stores including merchandising and employees.”
Over the past few months, the Canada-based firm has ramped up its presence in Europe, acquiring Galeria Holding last September to create HBC Europe, which includes German mega department-store chain Galeria Kaufhof, Belgium department store Galeria Inno and Sportarena. In February, the company finalized its acquisition of luxury e-tailer Gilt Groupe Holding’s Inc.
“Our acquisition of Galeria in 2015 established our European headquarters in Cologne and a platform for future organic growth,” Richard Baker, governor and chairman of HBC, said in a release. “Expansion into the Netherlands is a natural extension of our existing presence in Belgium as well as our planned entry into Luxembourg and will complete our presence in all of the Benelux countries.”
Baker added, “Canada and The Netherlands have a long, storied history built on collaboration and cultural respect. This is an extremely compelling opportunity to invest in the Dutch market, leverage the iconic Hudson’s Bay brand and introduce what will be the only nationwide all-channel premium department store.”
HBC CEO Jerry Storch said the firm will tap into “unmet demand” in both the premium department store and off-price segments in the Dutch retail market.
“The Hudson’s Bay and Saks Off 5th banners, tailored for the Dutch market, will introduce our all-channel retail model to the Netherlands with a combination of exciting retail destinations and a best in class e-commerce presence,” Storch said. “The situation is similar to the one we capitalized on in Canada with Hudson’s Bay. We introduced a new, innovative format offering relevant brands and excellent service. We will use our proven playbook based on our success with fantastic department stores combined with local management expertise to create innovative retail destinations.”
Olivier Van den Bossche, head of HBC’s European department store business, noted that the Netherlands expansion is expected to result in the creation of more than 2,500 store jobs, 2,500 construction jobs and 300 million euros in capital investments, the majority of which will be funded through landlord incentives.