When Richard Baker, CEO of NRDC, bought The Hudson's Bay Company for a cool $8 billion last month, he announced his plans to turn Canada’s oldest retailer into an industry leader, using a similar strategy to that of US retailer Lord & Taylor. Lord & Taylor, which happens to be America’s oldest department store, was also recently acquired by NRDC. So, with two of the oldest department store chains on the continent in his portfolio, what are Baker’s grand plans?
In Canada, Baker believes that there is a gap between mass-market The Bay and luxe player Holt Renfrew. Thus, he plans to open 10 to 15 Lord & Taylor stores within existing Bay flagship stores or within HBC real estates. According to a source at HBC, large city centre The Bay flagships of 600,000 sq. ft. and up will be split into two entities, containing both The Bay and Lord & Taylor across, say, 2 floors each. NRDC will also introduce more prestigious brands to The Bay’s lineup, including those of NRDC-owned Creative Design Studios, Peter Som’s parent company.