Hudson's Bay HBC
by MR Magazine Staff

Toronto-based retailer Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) reported on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter revenue slipped to $2.89 billion, down from $3.05 billion a year earlier when the quarter included an extra week. Excluding the extra week, revenue in the quarter was down $47 million or 1.6 percent compared with a year ago.

Overall comparable store sales for the quarter were down 1.4 percent, while they increased 3.9 percent at the company’s Saks Fifth Avenue stores and fell 5.2 percent at its Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters stores. Saks Off 5th comparable sales declined 2.1 percent.

HBC reported a net profit of $286 million or $1.20 per share for the quarter, up from $84 million or 39 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

However, the retailer said it lost $226 million or 95 cents per share from its continuing operations compared with a profit of $180 million or 84 cents per share a year ago.

“We are a far stronger company today than a year ago, despite some of the top-line challenges this quarter,” said Helena Foulkes, CEO of HBC. “The strength of Saks Fifth Avenue continued thanks to our stores outside of New York City as the Fifth Avenue flagship remained under renovation. In early February, we opened the new main floor, a modern and expansive experience that redefines luxury retail and showcases one of the largest luxury handbag assortments in the world.”

“At Hudson’s Bay, we are capable of better results from what is a solid business,” Foulkes continued. “Merchandise choices sparked the top-line momentum shift at Hudson’s Bay and we believe those are fixable with time. Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay offer HBC our greatest long-term growth opportunities and we are encouraged about what lies ahead.”

Earlier this year, Lord & Taylor’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue closed its doors after a century. In February, Hudson’s Bay closed the sale of the Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue building to space-leasing company WeWork for $1.1 billion.

In February, Hudson’s Bay also said it would review the stores in its Saks Off 5th division and could close as many as 20 of those stores in the U.S. The company said it would close its Home Outfitters chain, which sells housewares, bedding, towels and other household items in Canada.

That same month, the company said it would work with an executive search firm to recruit a new president of Hudson’s Bay after Alison Coville stepped down, effective March 1.