HBC has been bought by the company that owns high-end fashion retailer Lord & Taylor, and as many as 15 of HBC’s “most high-profile” Bay stores will be rebranded as Lord & Taylor, according to a report on the Globe and Mail website this afternoon.
The deal will see NRDC Equity Partners merge the operations of HBC’s 580 stores, including Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Fields chains, with NRDC’s Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff to create an “$8-billion merchandising powerhouse” to be called Hudson’s Bay Trading Co., according to the Globe report.
“By acquiring Hudson’s Bay Co. along with previous acquisitions Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff, we will have an unprecedented opportunity to recreate the retail landscape in North America,” said Richard Baker, chief executive officer of NRDC, which is understood to have already owned 20% of HBC.
Baker will reportedly invest $500 million in the new company and said he plans to change 10 to 15 of the Bay’s most high-profile stores over to the Lord & Taylor brand.
According to the Globe, Baker feels Lord & Taylor will “fill a gap in the Canadian retail landscape” between the Bay and Holt Renfrew. He also intends to “put greater focus on branded apparel at discounter Zellers” improve customer service and eventually roll out new 125,000-square-foot prototype stores.
Toronto agency John St. has been handling the creative for the Bay brand, while Leo Burnett oversees advertising for Zellers.