Hudson’s Bay’s 15 stores in the Netherlands are about to go dark.
HBC Netherlands — which is owned by a joint venture of Signa Retail Holdings and Saks Fifth Avenue-parent Hudson’s Bay Co. — is going to close its stores in the country, as well as its e-commerce site and headquarters by Dec. 31.
“As part of [Toronto-based] HBC’s agreement with Signa to divest its interest in the European retail joint venture, Hudson’s Bay Netherlands is expected to transfer wholly to HBC, upon the transaction’s closing, which is anticipated to occur during the fall of 2019,” HBC said Friday.
The company said its management in the Netherlands “worked intensively on a social plan, and have come to an agreement with local unions to offer solutions for employees impacted by the closure.”
HBC from Canada into the Netherlands in 2017, seeing a market with 17 million shoppers that was affluent enough to support its brand of department stores.
The first store was a 183,000-square-foot door in Amsterdam.
“We’re big believers in the department store model in the right scenario. In a country as healthy and dynamic as the Netherlands with one department store providing the resources and the brands that those customers want, we think we have a great opportunity to be successful in the Netherlands,” HBC governor Richard Baker said at the time.
But HBC’s ambitions in Europe ultimately tapered off and the company linked with Signa.
The company also retreated in the U.S., selling off most of the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue flagship and then cutting a deal with Le Tote to let go of the chain entirely.
Much of the restructuring now appears to be behind HBC, which had a tough second quarter, but is focusing on holiday and Saks, Saks Off 5th and the remaining Hudson’s Bay operations.