TORONTO & COLOGNE, Germany & AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hudson's Bay Company (“HBC” or the “Company”) (TSX:HBC) is pleased to announce that it is expanding its European presence with plans for up to 20 new stores in the Netherlands over the next 24 months. The Company has finalized and is in the process of finalizing long term leases for select, sought after locations. The first stores are expected to launch in the summer of 2017 and 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. 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.
Richard Baker, Governor and Chairman of HBC stated, “We are very pleased to introduce our Canadian Hudson’s Bay banner, one of the world’s most exciting department stores, to the Netherlands. Our acquisition of GALERIA in 2015 established our European headquarters in Cologne and a platform for future organic growth. 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. We were able to capitalize on an opportunity to select sought after, high street real estate locations. 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.”
Jerry Storch, HBC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We believe that in the Dutch retail market there is unmet demand in both the premium department store and off-price segments. 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 ecommerce presence. 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, said, “We are thrilled about the opportunity to introduce Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH to the Netherlands through our strategy of targeted organic growth. Our team of European retail experts has a strong understanding of the Dutch landscape. Our expansion is expected to result in the creation of over 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. We are committed to the Dutch marketplace and look forward to partnering with local governments to create exciting retail destinations.”
HBC was advised by Stibbe and Stikeman Elliott LLP on legal matters and by Eric Zorn, Chairman of ESZ LLC, an International Real Estate Consulting Group, along with one of his partners, Robert Bray, on real estate matters.
About Hudson’s Bay Company
Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world, based on its successful formula of driving the performance of high quality stores and their all-channel offerings, unlocking the value of real estate holdings and growing through acquisitions. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes ten banners, in formats ranging from luxury to better department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 460 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.
In North America, HBC’s leading banners include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, and Saks OFF 5TH, along with Find @ Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters. In Europe, its banners include GALERIA Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, Belgium’s only department store group Galeria INNO, as well as Sportarena.
HBC has significant investments in real estate joint ventures. It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States and Germany. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture.
Certain statements made in this news release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s plans to expand its European presence to the Netherlands by opening up to 20 stores over the next 24 months, the Company’s expectation that such stores will launch in the summer 2017 and operate under the Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH banners, long term leases for up to 20 store locations will be finalized in the near future, the build-out of the stores will be primarily funded by the relevant landlords through landlord incentives, and the benefits that are expected to result from the expansion into the Netherlands, including the creation of new jobs. Often but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "estimate", "plan", "could", "should", "would", "outlook", "forecast", "anticipate", "foresee", "continue" or the negative of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology.
Although HBC believes that the forward-looking statements in this news release are based on information and assumptions that are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are by their nature subject to a number of factors and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's expectations and plans as set forth in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons. Some of the factors and risks - many of which are beyond HBC’s control and the effects of which can be difficult to predict – include, among others - (a) the risk that HBC is unable to finalize long term leases for up to 20 select, sought after store locations in the Netherlands, (b) the risk that the expansion into the Netherlands requires capital expenditures in excess of those currently anticipated and/or more than 24 months to complete, (c) the risk of introducing new brands into new markets and of doing business abroad, (d) the risk that the anticipated benefits from the expansion into the Netherlands cannot be realized, (e) credit, market, currency, operational, liquidity and funding risks generally, including changes in economic and geopolitical conditions, interest rates or tax rates, and (f) risks and uncertainties relating to information management, technology, supply chain, product safety, changes in law, competition, seasonality, commodity price and business.
HBC cautions that the foregoing list of important factors and assumptions is not exhaustive and other factors could also adversely affect its results. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause HBC’s actual results to differ from current expectations, please refer to the "Risk Factors" section of HBC’s Annual Information Form dated April 28, 2016, as well as HBC’s other public filings, available at www.sedar.com and at www.hbc.com.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe HBC’s expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by applicable Canadian securities laws, HBC does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.