Hudson’s Bay Is Separating Its Website and Stores Into Distinct Business Units

Hudson’s Bay, a subsidiary Hudson Bay Co. (HBC), said today it will separate its store fleet and e-commerce businesses into two unique business units, mirroring an earlier move by Saks, its sister banner.

The new setup is meant to help the company strengthen its digital transformation by having separate resources and leadership teams devoted to each business arm.

Both units of the Canadian department store will continue to work in tandem within their own growth plans.  Hudson’s Bay president and CEO Iain Nairn will run the e-commerce arm under the name “The Bay.” Hudson’s Bay’s fleet of 86 stores will continue to operate under the Hudson’s Bay name and will be led by Wayne Drummond, the newly appointed president of the stores business.

The Bay will oversee brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for both units. 

“Establishing e-commerce and stores as distinct businesses is a pivotal next step in the future of Hudson’s Bay,” said HBC’s governor, executive chairman and CEO Richard Baker. “With the launch of Marketplace on thebay.com earlier this year, Hudson’s Bay set in motion a rapid expansion of its e-commerce business to gain significant market share and become the country’s largest premium hybrid online shopping experience. To date, digital performance and onboarding of new sellers has dramatically exceeded expectations. Furthermore, this move enables each team to make unencumbered strategic investments into their respective businesses to deliver an incomparable customer experience for Canadians.”

Hudson’s Bay announced in April a plan to transform its flagship stores, which involved building a 25-story office tower and updating its retail space in downtown Montreal. At the time, Nairn said that the new developments would offer a “curated assortment” of merchandise in a “digitally connected store with elevated service. The project was targeted for a 2027 completion date.

Thebay.com is the sixth largest e-commerce business in Canada. Since the website launched its marketplace feature in April, it has expanded its offerings to more than 25,000 new products.

“Hudson’s Bay is undoubtedly one of the most iconic retail brands in the world, and has proven itself incredibly nimble and responsive as consumer behaviour evolves,” said Nairn. “The digital-first transformation of The Bay takes us to the next level, with significant focus on technology investment and innovation – including the creation of Technology Hubs in both Toronto and Seattle, increased fulfillment capabilities, expanded marketing and extended vendor partnerships for a highly-curated assortment.”

Both The Bay and Hudson’s Bay will accept returns and exchanges for both units and will honor Hudson’s Bay rewards and Hudson’s Bay credit cards in stores and online.

In May, Hudson’s Bay become the first Canadian department store to join the 15 Percent Pledge to allocate 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned businesses.

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