Hudson’s Bay to Shut Londonderry Mall Store in Edmonton

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*UPDATE* Hudson’s Bay made the decision in 2023 to keep this store open, albeit in a smaller format and as an outlet concept store. The article below is based on information provided to Retail Insider by Hudson’s Bay at press time.

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The Hudson’s Bay department store at Londonderry Mall in Edmonton is closing in August of this year. The store has operated for more than 50 years and was one of the mall’s original tenants. 

The 118,000 square foot store has struggled to attract shoppers in the renovated Northeast Edmonton shopping centre — the Hudson’s Bay store hasn’t seen substantial renovations in years other than some minor cosmetic upgrades and a retail downsizing. 

Landlord Cushman & Wakefield confirmed the store’s closure and issued a statement for Retail Insider: 

“We are disappointed in The Bay’s decision to close its location at Londonderry Mall, however, we are excited about the opportunities this brings to the shopping centre. This is a prime location at the site and we look forward to continuing to work on redevelopment and re-leasing efforts to enhance Londonderry’s offerings to its customers and community.” 

Londonderry Mall is owned by Montez Corporation and managed by Cushman & Wakefield.

Click image for interactive Google Map

The Bay provided a statement for Retail Insider for this article. “After careful consideration, Hudson’s Bay has made the decision to close its Londonderry Mall location in August 2023. Hudson’s Bay will continue to serve the communities with a seamless omnichannel experience at our four other Edmonton locations and through thebay.com. While these decisions are difficult they are the right ones for our business, reflecting market changes and our vision for the future. We are committed to treating every associate with respect and fairness through this process, and transfer opportunities will be explored where feasible.”

Londonderry Mall underwent a $130 million transformation that was completed in 2016. That included a full renovation to the shopping centre property that added a La Maison Simons store in 2017. Several retailers have come and gone since then — a large Army & Navy store shut years ago and in 2019, H&M opened a store in the mall near La Maison Simons. 

Prior to the renovation in 2015, a consulting group was analyzing sales at Londonderry and found that the Hudson’s Bay store had sales of about $11 million annually — the mall’s Shoppers Drug Mart was seeing sales of about $12 million at the time, which were about the same as the Winners store in the mall prior to its relocation to a larger space. Given the size of the Hudson’s Bay store, its sales at the time were only about $93 a square foot. 

The Londonderry Hudson’s Bay was downsized during the pandemic and its configuration was modified. That included adding a central check-out on each floor as opposed to counters in individual departments. At the time of the changes, some Edmontonians had reached out to Retail Insider asking if the store would remain open as it appeared that the changes were part of a downgrade for the retail location. 

Level 1 of Londonderry, image via mall website.
Level 2 of Londonderry, image via mall website.

When it opened in 1972, Londonderry was Canada’s largest mall west of Toronto, and the only two-level mall in Western Canada. The then 85 store mall was anchored by Eaton’s, The Bay, WoolcoSafeway, and a movie theatre. In 1984, the mall added 65 additional stores and services.

The now 777,000 square foot two-level Londonderry Mall currently houses about 140 retailers with larger anchors including a 100,000 square foot La Maison Simons, the soon-to-close Hudson’s Bay, and last month we reported that a 38,000 square foot No Frills grocery store would be replacing a shuttered Save-on-Foods location. Winners now occupies over 27,000 square feet in the mall. 

Prior to the Pandemic, Hudson’s Bay had six stores in the Edmonton area. The downtown Edmonton Hudson’s Bay store shuttered in 2021 and with the closure of the Londonderry store, Hudson’s Bay will soon have just four large-format department stores in the region. That includes stores at Southgate Centre, Kingsway Mall, West Edmonton Mall and St. Albert Centre in the nearby city of St. Albert. 

The Calgary market is currently home to five full-sized Hudson’s Bay department stores, including a downtown location which was significantly downsized during the pandemic

Central check-out at the downsized Londonderry Mall Hudson’s Bay store in 2022. Photo: Christa Patterson
Photo: Mike Huibers via Google Images

The closure of Hudson’s Bay will have a significant impact on Londonderry Mall — at the same time, it presents an opportunity to redevelop the space that could include mixed-use. It’s a trend being seen in shopping centres across the country as mall landlords look to diversify properties by also adding density in an effort to create ‘complete communities’. Canada has emerged as a global leader in terms of shopping centre redevelopments and proposals, particularly in the larger Toronto and Vancouver markets. 

The opportunities for Londonderry could include non-retail uses for the existing Hudson’s Bay building, which could also be torn down as part of a bigger redevelopment that could see housing and offices added to the site. Landlord Cushman & Wakefield has not yet confirmed what’s planned following the closure of the Londonderry Hudson’s Bay store. 

A source in the know told Retail Insider last year that Hudson’s Bay is unlikely to downsize its fleet of stores significantly in the foreseeable future, given opportunities to activate spaces for e-commerce that could include warehousing space as well as points to purchase and pick up items. Co-working spaces and other uses could also come to some Hudson’s Bay stores, not to mention the introduction of 8,000-10,000 square foot Zellers shop-in-stores in some locations. 

Image: Londonderry Mall
Londonderry from the air. Image: Peterson Group

Since the pandemic, Hudson’s Bay has shut stores in downtown Edmonton, a massive flagship in downtown Winnipeg, and a store at Les Jardins Dorval in Montreal. 

Last month we reported that Sophia Hwang-Judiesch had been appointed President of The Bay, following her appointment as President of Hudson’s Bay department stores in September. The Bay division is responsible for shared functions including brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for both The Bay’s online business as well as physical Hudson’s Bay stores. Her January appointment coincided with the retirement of industry veteran Iain Nairn. 

In September, Hwang-Judiesch took over the leadership of Hudson’s Bay department stores from Wayne Drummond, who reportedly retired from the Hudson’s Bay Company after almost 34 years. Sources say that Drummond is currently working with Toronto-based Jaytex Group following the exit of Howie Kastner from Jaytex late last year amid disagreements. Jaytex is currently heading the expansion of L.L. Bean in Canada as part of a licensing deal. 

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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