Statistics are showing that more people are buying online rather than taking the time for shopping trips to the malls or brick and motor establishments like Lord & Taylor which has put Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) its parent company in a position to explore strategic alternatives for its Lord & Taylor brand. Possibilities include its sale or merger.
By late morning HBC stock rose by 3.4 percent after the news of Lord & Taylor’s possible sale or merger.
Hudson’s Bay Company is regarded as the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the North America and Europe. It was established in 1670 as a fur trading business, starting with beaver fur for beaver fur hats later including more luxury furs, by businessmen from England which tied it to the colonization of British North America and the development of Canada. Over its 300 year history, HBC acquired other businesses in oil and gas, financial services, and distillery which were sold in the late 1990s.
HBC currently owns its name-sake brand as well as Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH and Lord and Taylor in the US and Canada and has other stores in Europe with over 400 stores under its umbrella.
However, because of the increase of online sales, in-store sales are diminishing and falling into the trend like so many other US department stores which have been closing their doors rather than expanding, Lord & Taylor has been struggling too.
The number of Lord & Taylor department stores dropped from 50 to 45 a year ago. Its Fifth Avenue location was sold to WeWork earlier this year, a company that promotes and provides shared office spaces for technology startup subculture communities, services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises.
HBC, Lord & Taylor’s parent company, has been in the process of simplifying its organization as well as strengthening its retail operations while improving its cost structure. Hence HBC’s consideration of selling or merging its Lord & Taylor Brand.
HBC’s CEO Helena Foulkes says that its review of strategic alternatives for Lord & Taylor is the company’s way of exploring options for the positioning of HBC’s futurelong-term success.
In a report published last month by HBC, its fourth-quarter sales for Lord & Taylor as well as Home Outfitters and its HBC brand dropped by 5.2%. However, its luxury store brand of Saks Fifth Avenue department stores reported a 3.9 percent growth.
P J Solomon, an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company has been retained by HBC for the reviewing of its Lord & Taylor brand. P J Solomon is headquartered in New York, NY. Often referred to as Solomon, it advises clients on mergers, restructuring, acquisitions,recapitalizations, divestitures, private placements, and corporate strategy.