Department store retailer Hudson’s Bay has launched a Hudson’s Bay Outlet division with a storefront in Toronto. An existing Hudson’s Bay location in Edmonton will also be modified to offer outlet pricing as part of a store downsizing.
Recently the 115,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay store at Eglinton Square in Toronto was restocked with clearance merchandise from Hudson’s Bay stores including apparel, accessories, intimates and footwear — home furnishings are also being offered in a space in the store that until recently housed a beauty department.
Kosi Sivasankaran, Chief Stores Officer at Hudson’s Bay, said in a statement, “Transforming our Eglinton Square location into an outlet store for customers creates a fun and unique shopping destination, distinct from the Hudson’s Bay full-line experience.” Pricing and product is meant to “surprise and delight”, according to Sivasankaran, which includes something of a “thrill of the hunt” element.
New product will be shipped to the Hudson’s Bay Outlet store every two weeks from the retailer’s full-priced stores. Customers can earn Hudson’s Bay Rewards points on all purchases made at the outlet location.
Tiffany Bourré, spokesperson at Hudson’s Bay, said that no other Hudson’s Bay Outlet store locations are in the works at this time.
Hudson’s Bay’s Londonderry Mall store in Edmonton is also being downsized to one floor as reported recently in Retail Insider, with that location offering outlet pricing — renovations will be completed next month. The smaller Hudson’s Bay store will span about 60,000 square feet, half the size of the current two-level full-priced department store. Earlier this year, Hudson’s Bay had announced that the Londonderry store would be closing, and we’ve since been informed that it’s no longer the case.
This isn’t the first time that Hudson’s Bay has had an outlet division. In August of 2014, the retailer launched its Hudson’s Bay Outlet concept with a 25,000 square foot storefront at the Toronto Premium Outlets. A Hudson’s Bay Outlet subsequently opened at the Montreal Premium Outlets in the fall of 2014 in a 27,000 square foot space.
The Toronto Premium Outlets location was converted to HBC-owned Saks OFF 5TH in March of 2016, and the Montreal Hudson’s Bay Outlet was shut in the spring of 2021. Unlike in Toronto, the Montreal location was not converted to the Saks OFF 5TH banner, which is said to now be struggling in Canada with some locations having closed.
The timing could be right for Hudson’s Bay to relaunch its outlet division. Several months ago, Nordstrom Rack shut its seven Canadian outlet stores to coincide with the company’s exit from the Canadian market.
Hudson’s Bay Outlet will also compete with TJX’s Canadian retail brands Winners, Marshalls and HomeSense given the categories carried.
Department stores have been beefing up off-price offerings in the United States as well, with Macy’s expanding its Backstage concept. US-based Target was spawned from Minneapolis-based Dayton’s which once operated upscale full-priced department stores in the Midwest. It’s not yet known if the Hudson’s Bay Company will look to introduce outlet departments to its full-priced department stores as Macy’s has done.
It’s also not known for how long the Toronto Hudson’s Bay Outlet will remain open, given massive mixed-use redevelopment plans for Eglinton Square that include thousands of condominium units in towers. No major redevelopment plans are known to be in the works for Londonderry Mall in Edmonton.