Treble losses at Hudson’s Bay – what do we know?

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Hudson's Bay in Canada has suffered more than three times more losses in the last quarter than a year ago. In Europe alone, the loss amounts to EUR 48 million, yet the chain of department stores is still keeping silent about its future in the Netherlands.

 

Three times the loss – turnover stable

Hudson's Bay is sinking deeper and deeper into the red: last quarter's net profit was minus CAD 984 million (just under EUR 700 million). That is more than triple the amount of loss when compared with a loss of CAD 280 million in the previous year. 

 

Turnover was CAD 1.9 billion (EUR 1.3 billion). In stores that had been open for more than a year, turnover fell slightly (-0.4%). Online saw sharp increases, with e-commerce turnover increasing by 20%.

 

Only the Netherlands remains

European activities contributed EUR 47.7 million to the losses. This figure also includes the German department stores and the Galeria Inno shops in Belgium, which were resold in June to ex-merger partner, Signa: the sale is due to be completed this autumn. Exactly one year ago, Karstadt owner Signa and Hudson's Bay completed a joint venture, but now the Canadians are already withdrawing from that merger. Only the Dutch department stores remain (for the time being) in the hands of Hudson's Bay.

 

As for the future of the fifteen Dutch stores, that is currently far from certain. Most recently, ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’ claimed that the branches were due a shake-up and according to the trade unions, a collective redundancies have been requested for all 1,400 employees.

 

As for the management itself, they are neither confirming or denying the potential withdrawal: "There's a chance we'll close stores, but.. the final decision has not yet been taken. It is an ongoing process", explained Jennifer Bewley, head of investor relations, according to Trouw. In its quarterly report, Hudson's Bay seems content to consider its strategic options, even though the Bewley has made it clear that the Dutch branches are underperforming.