Bankruptcy the only option for Dutch Hudson's Bay stores?

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The only way for the Dutch branch of Hudson's Bay to get rid of its overly expensive and very long-running rental contracts would be bankruptcy, as the chain's odds of survival are looking slim no matter what.


The Dutch can do without Hudson’s Bay

Now that Hudson's Bay is selling all of its European activities (except the Dutch ones), more questions arise on the future of the department store chain in the Netherlands. The stores are loss-making and retail experts are afraid the only way out is bankruptcy, Dutch financial newspaper Financieel Dagblad states. 


Bad news for the chain: if it were to disappear, the Dutch would not even miss it, according to a survey by Q&A. The consultancy firm believes it will be "very difficult to survive", as CEO Frank Quix put it: its initial positioning as a luxury formula may be what ultimately caused Hudson's Bay's downfall. Today, the chain has fifteen stores in the Netherlands, despite the original plan of opening sixty. Its target of generating a billion-euro turnover is still far off.


The chain is stuck, Financieel Dagblad continues: Hudson's Bay has an agreement with the owners of the store buildings that they would carry the renovation costs in exchange for very long lease terms. Retail advisor Paul Moers suggests the only way to get out of those would be bankruptcy. Given the size of the stores, the owners would likely reclaim them for mixed purposes if Hudson's Bay should come to disappear, including (smaller) stores, offices, living apartments, bars and restaurants.