Hudson’s Bay Holiday Comps Slip

For the nine week holiday period ending December 31, Hudson’s Bay Co. announced that consolidated comparable sales, on a constant currency basis, decreased 0.7%.

The department store group, including Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters stores, posted a comparable sales increase of 1.2% but comps at Saks Fifth Avenue decreased 0.5% and those at HBC Off Price, including Saks Off 5th and Gilt, decreased 5.2%.

Total digital sales, which include the recently acquired Gilt operations, increased 14.7% on a constant currency comparable basis. With Gilt excluded, total digital sales increased 21.7% on a constant currency comparable basis.

Including the impacts of foreign exchange, consolidated comparable sales decreased 2%.

Jerry Storch, HBC CEO, said, “Our holiday sales trend improved considerably from what we experienced in the third quarter. On a constant currency basis, the comparable sales trend improved for the company overall and across every banner, led by strong digital sales growth of 21.7% at our department store banners. However, the sales improvement that we experienced was not strong enough to achieve the results we had expected. Also, while we were pleased with our performance at Hudson’s Bay in Canada, the retail environment has remained challenging in the U.S. and Europe, and the significant promotional activity during the holiday period had a negative impact on our margins. This margin pressure was compounded by a declining value of the Euro compared with the Canadian dollar, which impacts our translated earnings from HBC Europe. As we head into the new fiscal year, we are focused on continuing to delight our customers with exclusive product offerings and custom all-channel shopping experiences, and by creating exciting retail destinations to increase foot traffic in our stores.”