Hudson’s Bay on Thursday (Aug. 12) announced the separation of its business into separate entities, one for in-store sales and another for eCommerce, as part an increased focus on its digital-first transformation.
The eCommerce division will be known as The Bay and will be responsible for brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for both businesses, according to a press release. The company’s 86 retail stores will continue to operate as Hudson’s Bay.
Iain Nairn was named president and CEO for The Bay and Wayne Drummond is president of the store business.
“Establishing e-commerce and stores as distinct businesses is a pivotal next step in the future of Hudson’s Bay,” HBC Governor, Executive Chairman and CEO Richard Baker said in the announcement.
HBC’s digital performance and onboarding of new sellers “has dramatically exceeded expectations,” he said. “This move enables each team to make unencumbered strategic investments into their respective businesses to deliver an incomparable customer experience for Canadians.”
The Bay has unveiled more than 1,500 new or expanded brands and more than 25,000 new products through the Marketplace Technology platform. Its website, thebay.com, is the sixth-largest eCommerce platform in Canada.
“The digital-first transformation of The Bay takes us to the next level, with significant focus on technology investment and innovation — including the creation of Technology Hubs in both Toronto and Seattle, increased fulfillment capabilities, expanded marketing and extended vendor partnerships for a highly-curated assortment,” said Nairn in the company announcement.
“As we evolve and adapt, the role of stores has never been more important or vital to the collective success of our businesses,” said Drummond in the announcement. “Hudson’s Bay stores will become discovery destinations and serve as an important touchpoint for customers.”
Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) put the focus on digital retail with its recent acquisition of Stylyze, which will allow the company to offer a “differentiated luxury experience” and is part of more than $500 million in intended gross investment in the next three years focused on integrated luxury retail.
Two-thirds of highly connected consumers and more than four out of five moderately connected consumers purchase retail products online, according to PYMNTS’ Connected Economy research. But 54 percent of highly connected and 70 percent of moderately connected consumers are buying items in stores.
Read More:Hudson’s Bay Splits In-Store, eCommerce Sales