Hudson's Bay (retailer)

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This article is about the department store chain. For its parent company, see Hudson's Bay Company. For the body of water, see Hudson Bay.
"The Bay" redirects here. For the bay in San Francisco, see San Francisco Bay Area. For all other uses, see Bay (disambiguation).
Hudson's Bay
Industry Retail
Founded May 2, 1670 [1][3][4][5]
Headquarters Simpson Tower
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
Area served
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares.
Parent Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson's Bay (formerly and still colloquially known as The Bay) is a chain of 90 department stores that operate exclusively in Canada.[6] It is the main brand of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), North America's oldest company.[7] It has its headquarters in the Simpson Tower in Toronto.[8] In French, the chain is known as la Baie d'Hudson (formerly la Baie), short for "Compagnie de la Baie". The chain uses both the English and French versions of the name in some parts of the country.

The stores are full-line department stores, with a focus on high end fashion apparel, accessories, and home goods. Price points at Hudson's Bay are comparable to U.S. retailers Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom. The average store size is 135,000 square feet (12,500 m2).

Flagship downtown stores are located in Canada's largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, often being multi-storey, historic buildings and carry an extensive range and selection of goods than regular Hudson's Bay stores. The largest of the flagship stores is the Toronto store on Queen Street, at about 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2).[9] Toronto has another smaller store along the Mink Mile at Bloor Street East and Yonge Street in the Hudson's Bay Centre.


A swim suit fashion show at the Hudson's Bay Company store in Vancouver in 1932

The origin of the Hudson's Bay Company's department store format can be traced to 1881, when the company opened its first department store in Winnipeg, Manitoba, under its proper name "Hudson's Bay Company". From 1881 up until 1960, all "Hudson's Bay Company" stores were located in Western Canada and the Canadian Arctic.

In 1960, the HBC acquired Morgan's, a Montreal department chain with stores in Ontario and the island of Montreal. That same year, all the Morgan's stores in Ontario were converted to the "Hudson's Bay Company" brand. Four years later in 1964, its stores outside of Quebec were re-branded as "The Bay" (which had long been used as a shortened nickname for the stores); adopting a logo incorporating a stylized "B" that appeared in the header of HBC's royal charter from 1670.[10] Its stores in Quebec maintained the Morgan's name until 1972, when they were re-branded as "La Baie".[11][12] That same year, Hudson's Bay purchased Ottawa's Freimans department store and moved from the former Morgan's building on Sparks Street to the Freiman building on Rideau Street, closer to competing Ogilvy's and Caplan's.

The Bay further expanded its presence between 1989 and 1991 in Eastern Canada by absorbing the Simpsons department store chain, and 1993 in Western Canada by taking over many former Woodward's outlets.[13] The Toronto Queen Street flagship store was previously a Simpsons department store. In 1991, Hudson's Bay Company stopped selling fur.[14] In 1997 the company reopened its fur salons, including a wider assortment of high-end designer furs. Fur salons included many exclusive fur designers, including Louis Féraud, Givenchy, Black Diamond Mink, and Grosvenor.

In Downtown Toronto, the Queen Street store includes the department 'The Room' on the third floor. It is a 21,500-square-foot (2,000 m2) curated collection carrying some of the most prestigious and exclusive women's designers in Canada. Labels include Balmain, Emmanuel Ungaro, Halston, Gianfranco Ferre, Moschino, Armani Collezioni, Akris Punto, Lida Baday, Andrew Gin, Bellville Sassoon, and David Hayes.[15]

On July 16, 2008, it was announced that Hudson's Bay Company (the parent company of the Bay) had been purchased by the US firm NRDC Equity Partners, which owns Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.[16]

In August 2008, Bonnie Brooks was hired as president and chief executive officer of the Hudson's Bay Company. A significant transformation of the chain has followed.[17]

During its initial public offering in October 2012, HBC announced that it would be re-branding The Bay's stores under the name "Hudson's Bay",[18] marking the chain's first major re-branding since 1964. The new brand, designed by the New York City-based advertising agency Lipman, was officially introduced in March 2013. Reflecting on the company's heritage, the chain's new logo also incorporates an updated rendition of the Hudson's Bay Company coat of arms.[10] HBC did not provide a timeline for the conversion of the exterior signage to the new name on all of its stores.[19]

The company is still referred to as "The Bay" in the media.[20][21][22]

Hudson's Bay on Downtown Ottawa's Rideau Street


The Room[edit]

Hudson's Bay in downtown Vancouver, which houses the second location of The Room
Hudson's Bay in downtown Calgary
A Hudson's Bay store in Markville Shopping Centre with the new brand name.

The Room opened in 1937 as the 'St. Regis Room' in the Toronto flagship store at Yonge & Queen. In 2009 The Room was completely renovated and expanded to 21,500 square feet (2,000 m2) and was re-designed by design firm Yabu Pushelburg. New designers include Alaia, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, Sonia Rykiel, Barbara Bui, Erdem, Roland Mouret, and others. Then in the fall of 2011 'The Room' concept opened in Downtown Vancouver at the Granville store.[23]

Hudson's Bay store in downtown Montreal

'The Room' women's department in Vancouver is located in the north-east section of the second floor of the Downtown Vancouver Bay store, and is approximately 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2). It includes many of the designers available in the Toronto Queen Street flagship store, and some not available in the flagship store, including DSquared², Jeremy Liang, and Sid Neigum.[24][25]

'The Room' opened in the Downtown Montreal Hudson's Bay store in late 2013.[26]

Nicholas Mellamphy is the vice-president and buying director of The Room.[27]

West End Shop[edit]

The West End Shop is the Men's version of "The Room". The Toronto Queen Street and the Vancouver Granville West End Shops recently underwent an extensive renovation. The current collection contains labels such as Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani Collezioni, Ben Sherman, and Strellson. [28][29]

Hudson's Bay Company Signature Shop[edit]

The Bay offers products from the Hudson's Bay Company Collection a dedicated store, including items such as the iconic Point Blanket, coats, bed sheets, bags, T-shirts, lotions, scents, and candles. HBC has also partnered with Canadian companies like Virginia Johnson, Pink Tartan, and Klaxon Howl to create exclusive, limited edition merchandise. Customized canoes and oars are also available. HBC has also teamed up with international companies for limited edition products, such as Steiff (heritage teddy bear, limited run of 2 500), and Best Made Axe Co.[30]

While the Hudson's Bay Company shops appear mainly in flagship stores and its Banff, Alberta location, products from the Hudson's Bay Company Collection (not including limited edition items) are also available at other locations, most notably the Point Blanket.

The four-point stripes have also been trademarked worldwide, and are planned to be sold through international retailers which including Lord & Taylor in the US, and Colette in France, in an attempt to market HBC as a brand.[31]

Ralph Lauren Boutiques[edit]

Boutiques for Ralph Lauren are in select locations, including Queen Street, Yorkdale, Bayshore Ottawa, Carrefour Laval, Galeries d'Anjou, Vancouver Downtown, Victoria Downtown, Laurier Québec, and Montreal Downtown. Each boutique contains customized decor, and dedicated company specialists.[32]

During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the Bay was also the sole retailer for Polo Ralph Lauren US Olympic Team apparel in Canada.

Olympic apparel[edit]

Since its contract with the Canadian Olympic Committee as the official merchandiser for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, HBC has continued selling Olympic apparel in a dedicated section of the Bay stores. They were also sold through Zellers.[33]

Further expansion[edit]

Hudson's Bay in downtown Winnipeg

The Toronto Queen Street and Montreal Downtown store has opened ground floor boutiques for Burberry, Coach Leathergoods, and See by Chloé. Vancouver and Montreal ground-floor designer boutiques will follow.[32]

Hudson's Bay has ended its partnership with Brown Shoe, and closed all Brown's locations in its stores, to allow the department store to offer a larger selection of shoes, and to partner with the Montreal-based Aldo Group. Hudson's Bay is also offering higher-end brands, keeping in line with offerings from The Room and the West End Shop. The partnership with the Aldo Group began in spring 2011 when the revived Pegabo brand of footwear is going to be carried in Hudson's Bay and in Aldo's own FeetFirst and Locale locations.[34]

The website includes online shopping for home fashions and beauty products, and a gift registry.


The Hudson's Bay stores have used three different banners. Prior to 1965, the stores used the full name of the parent company. In 1965, the retailer rebranded as "The Bay" and hired Lippincott & Margulies to design a shorter logo.[35] In 2013, the store revealed a new logo designed by New York agency Lipman,[36] based on the more historic "Hudson's Bay" and to reflect the heraldry of Hudson's Bay Company's Royal Charter and the incorporation of the Hudson's Bay Company on May 2, 1670.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shaw, Hollie (March 13, 2013). "The Bay gets a new logo for first time in almost 50 years". National Post. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Hudson's Bay Celebrates Its Past, Present and Future with Modern New Logo". Market Wire. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Our History". The Hudson's Bay Company. 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company History". Government of Manitoba. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "HBC Heritage - Canada's Merchants Since 1670". The Hudson's Bay Company. 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "A Canadian Style Legacy". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 4 March 2013. [dead link]
  7. ^ Williams, Pat (2009-10-24). "Hudson’s Bay Company". Canadiana Connection. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  8. ^ "Contacts". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Tourism Toronto | What to Do - Shopping". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  10. ^ a b "New logo, old name: The Bay returns to its roots". The Globe and Mail. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Infantry, Ashante (6 March 2013). "The Hudson’s Bay Company unveils new logo for Canada’s oldest department store". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  12. ^ "HBC Heritage". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Hbc Heritage | Heritage Home". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  14. ^ Newman, Kevin (30 January 1991). "Hudson's Bay Company end its fur trade". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  15. ^ Flavelle, Dana (7 June 2009). "Bonnie Brooks: Homecoming queen". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  16. ^ Flavelle, Dana (16 July 2008). "HBC sold to new U.S. owner". CBC News (Toronto). Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Flavelle, Dana (5 August 2008). "Bonnie Brooks taking over Bay chain". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Strauss, Marina (17 October 2012). "HBC launches IPO as new rivals loom". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Hudson's Bay Celebrates Its Past, Present and Future with Modern New Logo". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Bay Queen Street". Hudson's Bay Company. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  21. ^ Leung, Marlene (27 February 2014). "Toronto woman trapped in The Bay live-tweets 'terrifying' ordeal". CTV News. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Kopun, Francine (27 January 2014). "Eaton Centre to expand for Saks Fifth Avenue flagship and include the Bay". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Room @ The Bay | History". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  24. ^ Gill, Adam (6 June 2011). "The Room II: The Bay announces the opening of its luxury store in Vancouver". Fashion. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  25. ^ Morra, Bernadette (19 March 2015). "Why Sid Neigum is Canada’s latest designer to watch". Fashion. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  26. ^ "'The Room' Coming to The Hudson's Bay Company in Montreal, Fall 2013". Retail Insider. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Chetty, Derick (12 October 2012). "Paris Fashion Week: Behind the scenes with Hudson’s Bay ‘The Room’ buyer". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  28. ^ "Can Steve Yzerman make The Bay relevant again?". 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  29. ^ "The Bay West End Shop Fall 2010 Menswear Preview". 6 October 2010. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  30. ^ Sardone, Andrew. "Hudson’s Bay Company Collection boutique". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  31. ^ McLaren, Leah (1 November 2010). "The Bay vs. Holts: the Bay’s scheme to steal the fashion crown from Holts". Toronto Life. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  32. ^ a b Saturday, April 20, 2013 5:09 PM EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (7 June 2009). "Bonnie Brooks: Homecoming queen". Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  33. ^ Abe, Fraser (2010-03-02). "The Hudson’s Bay Company fights to keep Olympic energy". Toronto Life. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  34. ^ Strauss, Marina (3 September 2010). "Aldo's global footprint". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  35. ^ "The Hudson’s Bay Company unveils new logo for Canada’s oldest department store". Toronto Star. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  36. ^ "Hudson's Bay Celebrates Its Past, Present and Future with Modern New Logo". 

External links[edit]