Canadian chain Hudson’s Bay has decided to close all of its stores in the Netherlands, meaning 1424 people will lose their jobs by the end of the year.
As the financial situation is untenable, the shareholders have decided to cancel further financing of HBC and to close the stores in the Netherlands by the end of the year, Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad quotes internal sources. Trade union CNV has confirmed the company's intention to lay off its employees. The union also stresses there is no bankruptcy and that management will soon start talks about compensations.
The end of HBC's Dutch branch comes as no surprise: the chain suffers heavy losses and the other European stores have already been sold to Austrian Signa. That was the sign for retail experts to start predicting a possible end to the Dutch stores altogether.
Another analyst, Hendrik Beerda, says the chain's terrible positioning meant it was doomed to fail: it appeared impossible to choose a clear positioning and stick to it, meaning there was no clear slice of the public that was drawn to the stores. Aiming for the middle segment was lethal for the chain that at first tried out a more luxury stance: "Instead of changing course, Hudson's Bay should have changed the atmosphere in the stores and friendly staff", Beerda concludes.