Hudson's Bay to Launch Online Marketplace With 500 Sellers
Hudson’s Bay on Monday announced the launch of its online marketplace, including plans to bring more than 500 new sellers to thebay.com by the end of 2021, according to a company press release. The Canadian department store chain will introduce new and significantly expanded category offerings, including sports and recreation, tech, pets, health and wellness, and even vintage designer handbags and watches to the brand’s assortment. The fully integrated marketplace will provide consumers with a seamless shopping experience to discover even more new and exciting products.
The marketplace will launch on thebay.com later in 2021, per the release. The retailer, a sister company to Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th, said the marketplace initiative is part of its "digital-first strategic evolution," and is inviting large and small businesses to become a part of its seller community. Vendors must fill out an application to be considered for the program and answer questions about whether they ship to Canada, sell on other marketplaces, are BIPOC-owned or designed, and how many retailers currently carry their brand.
Total Retail's Take: As retailers find ways to adapt to a more digital-focused world, Hudson's Bay is joining the marketplace space. The iconic retailer will be competing with other longstanding Canadian marketplaces, including Amazon Canada, eBay Canada, Etsy Canada, Walmart Canada and others. According to the press release, the company is entering the fray prepared with technology that enables Hudson’s Bay to react to consumer trends, expand its assortment, and onboard quality sellers from around the world in a matter of days. This will be essential to the company's success as it adds "millions of products to our offering, quickly adapting to customer demand," said Iain Nairn, Hudson’s Bay president and CEO.
A seamless shopping experience is rightly a big focus for Hudson's Bay, as customers expect a connected shopping journey across physical and digital storefronts. The press release states that the marketplace is fully integrated with thebay.com and the Hudson’s Bay App, and customers can earn and redeem Hudson’s Bay Reward points on all marketplace items.
However, also of note is Hudson Bay's announcement this week that it will lay off 600 employees, all of whom worked at the company's department stores in Canada. The retailer is reportedly not closing any of its 88 full-line store locations, but one can only assume this move is in relation to its new "digital-first strategic evolution," as noted in the release.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.