MONTREAL — Hudson’s Bay Co., after introducing the Mossimo line in 2003 amid fanfare backed by a major advertising campaign, will stop carrying it next October.
The line, sold exclusively in Canada by the Hudson’s Bay Zellers discount stores, wasn’t performing as well as other labels, a company spokeswoman said.
The Wayne Gretzky men’s apparel line carried at Bay department stores also is being dropped.
Mossimo accounts for about 3 percent of Zellers’ exclusive label business, said Gary Goss, director of retail business at Toronto-based research firm The NPD Group Canada. Its share of total apparel sales at the 300 Zellers stores fell to 1.5 percent for the year up to Sept. 30, from 2 percent a year earlier.
“The brand is a good one, it just didn’t take off,” Goss said. “In terms of positioning, their strategy was effective, but I’m not sure their execution was right. Half of Mossimo’s volume at Zellers is women’s tops and pants, and other private labels are performing much better in those categories.”
While Zellers’ overall private label business has been “soft” in the last 12 months, Goss said it was better relative to Mossimo.
“I think it’s a function of shopping patterns with consumers turning more and more to retailers like the Gap, Old Navy or Pennington’s,” he said.
Len Kubas, analyst at Kubas Consultants in Toronto, said, “I think Mossimo is doing reasonably well at Target, and HBC felt that Zellers was the next possible reincarnation of Target stores in Canada. But maybe the label wasn’t appropriate for Canada, where half the population lives in the six largest cities and outside of those, [as] it didn’t sell.”
The company did not return phone calls seeking comment. HBC is the target of a hostile takeover bid by financier Jerry Zucker through his Intertech Group Inc. of Charleston, S.C.