Hudson’s Bay CEO Says Closing Stores Starts A Spiral That ‘Can’t Be Stopped’

by MR Magazine Staff

Retailers that close a big chunk of their store fleet are likely only hastening their demise, predicted Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Gerald Storch. Storch, speaking on Monday at the Shoptalk conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, said his company would instead “play to win” in the radically changing world of retail, and not retrench and close stores. Hudson’s Bay, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the United States (as well as a namesake chain in Canada and the Netherlands and a pair of retailers in Belgium and Germany) continues to expand, opening dozens of Saks Off Fifth discount stores in the last year and renovating and rebranding 15 stores in the Netherlands. It is doing so even as it invests in e-commerce, a formula Storch told the conference is the key to being one of the survivors. There have been a record number of store closings in the United States this year, with everyone from Abercrombie & Fitch and Michael Kors trimming down, and many others like Gymboree using bankruptcy protection to shrink their store fleet. And one of HBC’s most direct rivals, Macy’s Inc, has closed 68 stores this year with dozens more planned. Read more at Fortune.