The Bay: Wikis

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The Bay
Type Division
Founded 1670 - HBC incorporated by Royal Charter
1881 - HBC opens its first department store
1964 - Chain rebranded as "The Bay"
Headquarters Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Industry Retail
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares.
Parent NRDC Equity Partners, via Hudson's Bay Trading Company
Website www.thebay.com

The Bay is a chain of 92 fashion department stores that operate across parts of Canada. It is the main brand of Hudson's Bay Company ("HBC"), North America's oldest company. [1] In French, the chain is known as la Baie, short for "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson". 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 apparel, accessories, and home goods. Most price points are mid- to upper-mid, with some high price points in the flagship Toronto Queen Street store; however, there is an assortment of everyday low-price merchandise. The Bay can be compared to U.S. retailer Macy's, and is more up-market than Sears Canada department stores. The average store is 135,000 square feet (12,500 m2).

Flagship downtown stores exist in Canada's largest cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Winnipeg. These larger stores span many stories high, carrying a much broader range and selection of goods than their mall counterparts. The largest of the flagship stores is the Toronto store on Queen Street, at about 1,000,000 square feet. [2]. Toronto has another smaller flagship store on Bloor Street East.

Contents

History

The Bay's origins can be traced in 1881, when the HBC opened its first department store, in Winnipeg, under its proper name Hudson's Bay Company. From 1881 up until 1960, all "Hudson's Bay Company" stores were located in Western Canada.

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 in Ontario were converted to "Hudson's Bay Company" stores, while the ones in Quebec kept the Morgan name.

The french version of the logo.

In 1964, all "Hudson's Bay Company" stores were changed to the new name the Bay. The Quebec stores continued under the Morgan name until 1972, when the HBC converted them to la Baie.

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.

In 1991, Hudson's Bay Company stopped selling fur. [3] In 1997 the company reopened their fur salons, including a wider assortment of high-end designer furs. Many exclusive fur designers, including Louis Féraud, Givenchy, Black Diamond Mink, and Grosvenor, are included in the highly successful and beautifully appointed Hudson's Bay Company Fur Salons.

Pharmamart is a shop-in-store concept that includes basic grocery and household items and, among other amenities, a pharmacy. It is located in several larger downtown locations.[4] The Winnipeg Pharmamart is larger that that in other downtown stores and carries a wide selection of fresh produce and meat, dry goods, dairy products, housewares, and specialty foods such as gluten-free and diabetic items.

In Downtown Toronto, the Queen Street store, formerly Simpsons, includes the department 'St. Regis Room' on the third floor. It is an upscale women's salon carrying some of the most prestigious and expensive women's designer labels in Canada. Designers include Emmanuel Ungaro, Balmain, Gianfranco Ferre, Moschino Couture, Valentino Roma, Armani Collezioni, Lida Baday, Andrew Gn, Bellville Sassoon, David Hayes, and others. A new Chanel Boutique will open Fall 2009, and a new designer roster will be presented before 2010. [5]

Men's designer department West End Shop Includes prestigious menswear designers such as Hugo Boss, Strellson, and will include an expanded designer assortment in early 2010. West End Shops are currently located in Toronto (Queen Street and Bloor Street stores), Downtown Montreal, Ottawa Rideau Centre, Downtown Calgary, and Downtown Vancouver. [6]

Browns Shoes has mens and women's shoe boutiques in larger, more productive Bay stores, including flagship and some non-flagship locations. Browns shoes carries a significant designer shoe offering, including Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Chloé, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Stella McCartney, and various private label designs. [7]

On 16 July 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. The new combined multinational corporation is called Hudson's Bay Trading Company.

In August, 2008 it was announced that Bonnie Brooks was hired as president and chief executive officer of the Hudson's Bay Company. A significant transformation of the chain is expected to follow. [8]

Flagship Store Transformation: St. Regis Room, new designers, 2009 Onward

Flagship stores are in the process of receiving significant interior upgrades and expanded designer merchandise, including an expansion of the St. Regis Room and West End Shop designer concepts. [9] The Bay will significantly renovate and upscale its downtown flagship locations, beginning with its Toronto Queen Street store.

The St. Regis Room, located on the third floor of the Queen Street Store, will be expanded to 22,000 square feet and will be re-designed by design firm Yabu Pushelburg. New designers will include Juicy Couture and a new Chanel Boutique. More designers will be announced shortly. St. Regis Room concepts will follow in Downtown Vancouver and Montreal, and designer menswear and accessories will be updated. The West End Shop concept will be subsequently expanded, and designer boutiques will be added to the ground floors of the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver stores [10]

Polo Ralph Lauren men's boutiques will be opened at several downtown Bay stores in the fall of 2009. They will include purpose-built interiors and a separate staff base. [11]

The Toronto Queen Street store will open ground floor boutiques for Louis Vuitton, Chanel Accessories, Prada, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, and others to be announced Fall 2009. Vancouver and Montreal ground-floor designer boutiques will follow. [12]

Locations

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Alberta

15 locations:

British Columbia

18 locations:

Manitoba

3 locations:

New Brunswick

1 location:

Nova Scotia

3 locations:

Ontario

34 locations:

Quebec

La Baie/The Bay on Montreal's Sainte-Catherine Street, with Tour KPMG in the background

16 locations (Majority of them are in Montreal and its suburbs. Gatineau, Quebec City and Sherbrooke are the only cities served by the Bay outside the Greater Montreal area.)

Saskatchewan

2 locations:

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.canadianaconnection.com/cca/hudsonbayco.htm
  2. ^ http://www.mytorontomeeting.com/Visitor/Experience/Shopping/General/Listing.aspx?ID=12173&m=Bay%2C+Queen+Street%2C+The
  3. ^ Hudson's Bay Company end its fur trade
  4. ^ http://search.aquent.com/myaquent?PROC=AWUIDrawViewPortfolioFrameset&portfolioID=467443&personCode=1_975767&infoWidth=150
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ http://www.thebay.com/en/event_suits.html
  7. ^ http://www.brownsshoes.com/eng_ca/common/browns-brands
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ [from http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/646819]
  11. ^ http://www.ralphlauren.com/frontdoor/index.jsp?videoflash=false&flashversion=0
  12. ^ [from http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/646819]

External links


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