Hudson’s Bay has put out a call for vendors in the apparel, home, beauty and accessories categories to join the new platform, which is set to launch this year, and said it would consider sellers in other categories as well. Interested brands are invited to apply through an online application, which in addition to current Canadian distribution, retail placement and marketplace participation also lists Black, Indigenous and People of Color owned or designed as one of the criteria on which it will select brands.
The addition of a third-party marketplace could help offset losses from the brick-and-mortar side of the business, which has been hammered by the pandemic: nearly half of the company’s 88 department stores are still closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Last week Hudson’s Bay announced that it would permanently lay off 600 workers. This follows a public statement from the company in December 2020 asking for judicial review of current regulations impacting non-essential retail in Toronto and Peel.
“Last week we signed an open letter, along with 46 other retailers of various sizes, to advocate for a 25% capacity limit on all retailers across the province as a means to achieving better public health outcomes with less economic fallout and unfairness,” read the statement. “The decision to close some retailers in these regions has not achieved public health objectives. Rather, it has potentially increased health risks by funneling more shoppers into fewer, increasingly crowded stores. Public health evidence regarding the importance of physical spacing and other health measures supports doing the complete opposite. The Government’s approach is unreasonable and unfair, does not support our shared public health objectives and is causing undue stress and hardships to thousands of retail employees and businesses across the region.”