That was apparent from Richard Baker, chief executive officer, who at the Toronto-based retailer’s annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday, said the company must elevate productivity, noting that Hudson’s Bay, at $140 in sales per square foot, and Lord & Taylor, at $210 a square foot, lag the North American department store average of $240.
“It’s been five years since we began reinventing Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor,” Baker said. “Our initial goal was to restore the tarnished brands. We have achieved that objective. Now the goal is establishing both as premier mid-tier department stores in North America.”
He spelled out strategies to reach the goal, citing continued renovations and “filling our stores with North American peer group global brands.” He said Hudson’s Bay can carry the same brands carried at Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Kohl’s, and that on the merchandising front, “the future opportunities at Hudson’s Bay are huge.” He’s been scouring the markets for partnerships with brands and retailers, similar to those established with Topshop, which has five locations inside Hudson’s Bay and will open five more this year, and with Kleinfeld, which in 2014 will open a 20,000-square-foot bridal salon inside Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship in Toronto. The $4 billion HBC sees spending $180 million annually on capital expenditures over the next five years, joining Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Belk in a widening field of retailers getting capital-intensive.
Speaking broadly, Baker said the company is adopting “a holistic” omnichannel approach and that the business must be regarded as more than just selling commodity items. “We believe we are in the entertainment business....Customers must be wowed by renovations, signage, lighting, visual merchandising and our service. Investment in stores is critical.” With omnichannel initiatives, Baker said he expects e-commerce to grow to about 10 percent of consolidated sales.
Baker briefly mentioned this week’s management shake-up, shifting Bonnie Brooks to vice chairman, in a low-profile advisory role, and elevating Liz Rodbell to president of the Hudson’s Bay and L&T divisions, succeeding Brooks. Baker cited the “tremendous work’ the two accomplished together, and projects for the future including Kleinfeld and Topshop.
He suggested renovations paid off at the Vancouver flagship. It generated a more than 25 percent sales gain last year, the highest gain of any location in the chain. The Topshops operating inside Hudson’s Bay, Baker added, represent a “significant productivity upgrade for the merchandise categories they displaced.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)