Diamond encrusted boxing gloves [Image Source]

We're noticing that Hudson's Bay and Holt Renfrew are starting to carry many of the same upscale designers. At first, Hudson's Bay's then-president Bonnie Brooks said she wasn't competing with Holt Renfrew by upscaling Hudson's Bay. We don't think this is true, at least not any more - both stores after the same higher-end customer, and we're seeing many of the same designers are at both Holt's and Hudson's Bay's flagship stores.

Rather than analyse all product categories at once, we'll do a series of articles with our observations as to how Hudson's Bay and Holt Renfrew are targeting the same wealthy customer. And now that Hudson's Bay owns Saks Fifth Avenue, we think there will be even more of a war for luxury labels in Canada. Some smaller, local luxury retailers will be hurt as a result. 

We'll keep this article brief but we'll first mention women's cosmetics. We've gotten word that Hudson's Bay is negotiating with Estée Lauder to bring expensive women's skincare line La Mer into some of its stores. Hudson's Bay also wishes to expand the Bobbi Brown label to several of Hudson's Bay's more productive locations. La Mer is carried only at Holt's in Canada, and Bobbi Brown is carried at Holt's and Sephora (thank you for noticing a previous error, reader comments below). 

More cosmetics label concessions previously only carried at Holt Renfrew will open at Hudson's Bay. We'll discuss this in the first of a series of articles analysing how Hudson's Bay is courting the Holt Renfrew shopper.

[Hudson's Bay website]

[Holt Renfrew website]