A Hudson's Bay store on Queen Street in Toronto.
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Digital Daily issue 03/03/2017

The marketing and fashion departments at Hudson’s Bay Corp. have taken hits as the company moves to cut overhead in a difficult retail environment.

This story first appeared in the March 3, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Among those who were let go in the past several weeks include Nelson Mui, vice president and men’s fashion director for the Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor divisions.

At HBC, Mui was a fixture at the men’s runway shows in Europe and New York as well as the trade shows in Las Vegas. He is credited with adding over 40 premium brands to the mix and launching a multibrand designer-contemporary department in Hudson’s Bay with lines such as Balmain, Neil Barrett, Jil Sander, Junya Watanabe, Marni and J.W. Anderson. He also led the product development for a new private brand called Laboratory, targeted at Millennial men, and revamped the catalogues and advertising campaigns for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.

Before joining HBC, Mui was vice president of marketing and communications for David Chu Design and Tumi. He has an M.A. in fashion from the Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design in London.

Mui, who has been with the retailer since July 2013, said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for HBC the past three and a half years. The men’s merchant team has been incredible to partner with and I’m proud of how we raised the profile and fashion credibility of the men’s business exponentially during my time there.”

He said it is “a pivotal moment in retail with a tremendous amount of disruption. I’m looking forward to a new role where I can bring my merchandising, marketing and creative background together in a strategic, integrated whole.”

Additionally, Robby Schnall, the vice president of marketing for Saks Off 5th, and David Lipke, who had been divisional vice president of public relations for Gilt, along with several lower-level employees in public relations and marketing have also departed.

An HBC spokesman had no comment.

Last week, HBC said it will take a one-time, $30 million severance charge as part of plan to reduce corporate overhead by 75 million Canadian dollars, or just more than $57 million at current exchange.

The announcement came at a time when HBC is rumored to be considering a potential acquisition of Macy’s, which is also mired in its own consolidation process.

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