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Hudson’s Bay ditches 300 brands in quest for cool factor

Hudson’s Bay Co. is doing a large-scale dust off in Canada.

The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue has booted out 300 “unproductive” brands from its Canadian department store chain, known locally as “The Bay.” It’s brought 100 new brands to “reset” the assortment this season, ranging from fast fashion staple Mango to high-end, sustainability-focused designs of New Zealander Maggie Marilyn, whose plaid pants sell for $570 (US$432).

Other additions include Anthropologie’s home goods, outdoors-focused L.L. Bean, as well as edgier designers such as Copenhagen-based Birger Christensen’s Rotate.

The upscale shift, which is part of the company’s attempt to lure customers back to the oldest company in North America, isn’t completed, Chief Executive Officer Helena Foulkes said.

“In some of the more traditional, classic brands, we have work to do to reposition those,” she told analysts Thursday after releasing the third consecutive drop in same-some sales at the Bay. “The changes will be gradual and may take time to resonate in the market.”


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