Hudson’s Bay Launches an Online Marketplace


Hudson’s Bay has transformed its e-commerce website into a marketplace format, which launches today with an assortment augmented by nearly 300 brands and many categories never before carried by the Canadian retailer.

By the end of 2021, Hudson’s Bay expects to have added more than 1,000 brands to There have been 1,670 brands on the website.

Categories Hudson’s Bay is introducing Friday through its marketplace include pet supplies; books; stationery; health and wellness; gourmet food; electronics including televisions, headphones, computers and smart home devices such as security cameras and baby monitors; vintage designer handbags, and sports equipment, including outdoor gear as well as sports nutrition.

Among the new brands coming to the site are, in women’s apparel, Israella Kobla, Brunette the Label and Joe’s Jeans, and in electronics and smart devices, ​Garmin and Hubble Connected.

Also new to the assortment: Whiskers & Fins pet food, treats, accessories and supplies; ​Under the Stairs Paper Co. cards and stationery; BioSteel protein powders, vitamins and sports accessories, and beauty products from ​Dew of the Gods and Zephyr Beauty Brands.

“This is a real game changer for us to extend our offer to customers,” said Iain Nairn, president and chief executive officer of Hudson’s Bay, a division of the Hudson’s Bay Co.

According to Hudson’s Bay, expects to generate about 1 billion Canadian dollars in 2021, excluding returns. The website attracts 220 million visits annually, nearly half of whom come from mobile, and has 5.7 million loyalty customers.

“We are the fifth largest e-commerce business in Canada by revenue,” said Nairn, who added that the company for several seasons has been working to drive e-commerce. “We more than doubled our e-commerce penetration in 2020.”

In Canada, online shopping overall has more than doubled over the past year, with Canadians shopping such marketplaces as Amazon and But Nairn said differentiates by providing “premium products” to the Canadian consumer.

Nairn said getting brands onto the marketplace is faster and easier than the normal wholesale process. “It can be as quick as a week for a brand to get on our website,” versus the six-to-seven-month normal wholesale process involving buyers visiting showrooms and placing orders.

With marketplace vendors, there is less risk for Hudson’s Bay since it’s not purchasing the products, but there would be less profit per transaction. Hudson’s Bay does make money by charging the third-party sellers on its marketplace a commission based on sales plus a monthly 30 Canadian dollar fee. Hudson’s Bay takes the transaction, and sends it to the seller, which holds the inventory and handles the shipping and customer service. “It’s really an efficient way of reaching customers and driving business to their brands,” Nairn said.

The marketplace, the CEO explained, is fully integrated so customers will have the same experience they are accustomed to on and on the Hudson’s Bay app, including the ability to earn and redeem Hudson’s Bay Reward points on all marketplace items.

Aside from having a broader assortment, the Hudson’s Bay marketplace is “no different from We are not creating another website,” Nairn said. “Everything will look seamless. It still takes the same number of clicks to get to a purchase. Let’s say you want to buy a yellow dress with a V-front, you search for that and you’ll find products supplied by us, and the next one might be from a marketplace vendor.

“There are currently about 100,000 styles on our existing platform, not including all the different sizes and colors in each style. We think that will grow to 200,000 over time,” Nairn said.

“We have 1,700 sellers we are in conversation with. We have contracted just over 200 already,” Nairn said. “We are launching with about 150 new vendors and some 30,000 additional skus when we go live.” More than 20 percent of the sellers that contacted Hudson’s Bay are Canadian.

Iain Nairn 

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