Home Outfitters, Canada's largest kitchen, bed and bath superstore, will be merged into Hudson's Bay Company's (HBC) Department Store Group. Several Home Outfitters locations may close as a result, while others could be extensively renovated. Hudson's Bay confirms that two Home Outfitters locations will close, as the company increasingly concentrates on its e-commerce operations.
Founded by HBC in 1999, Home Outfitters currently has 69 Canadian store locations, selling housewares, small appliances, bath accessories, bedding, furniture and home decor. Stores average about 34,000 square feet each and are mostly located in suburban centres.
Company spokesperson Tiffany Bourré confirms that Home Outfitters at Mississauga's Square One will close in January of 2015, as well a store at 1425 Sumas way in Abbotsford, BC. "We have committed to rationalizing our real estate portfolio and creating a strong, streamlined store base, along with an expanded digital offering. As a result, we will be closing two Home Outfitters locations in January 2015" said HBC spokesperson Tiffany Bourré. "We are committed to open communication with our Associates through the transition and to treating each individual with respect. Store Associates will be offered transfer opportunities where possible. All Home Outfitters stores will continue to focus on serving our customers," she said.
Regarding HBC's merging Home Outfitters with Hudson's Bay's Department Store Group: "Joining our Home businesses allows us to strengthen our position in the market and create a truly amazing home destination, both in our Home Outfitters and Hudson’s Bay stores, as well as online," said Ms. Bourré.
Interestingly, a source informs us that HBC is looking for space to open a Home Outfitters store in Downtown Toronto, despite there already being two large Hudson's Bay stores within the city's core.
According to the memo from the Office of the Chairman, Home Outfitters' current gift registry will also be merged with that of Hudson's Bay's, creating "one powerful, integrated registry". Hudson's Bay is already home to Canada's largest gift registry, which will become even bigger as a result of the merger.
HBC believes this change will create efficiencies, especially as the company prepares to move most department store merchandise online. The memo reads: "Joining our two Home businesses allows us to create a truly amazing Home destination, both in our Home Outfitters and Hudson's Bay stores, as well as online. Further, by combining our marketing and merchandising efforts and organizations, we will drive efficiency and collaboration."