by Stephen Garner
Hudson's Bay Company Netherlands
Hudson’s Bay Company Netherlands store rendering

Canada-based retailer Hudson’s Bay Company has announced 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.

“We are very pleased to introduce our Canadian Hudson’s Bay banner, one of the world’s most exciting department stores, to the Netherlands,” said Richard Baker, Governor and Chairman of HBC. “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 e-commerce presence.”

“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,” said Olivier Van den Bossche, Head of HBC’s European department store business. “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.