Hudson’s Bay Q4 profit falls on expenses; to invest in digital initiatives

Toronto -- Hudson’s Bay Company’s net profit for the fourth quarter fell to $29.1 million from $86.8 million in the year ago period, amid higher expenses.

The company’s sales for the quarter, ended Feb.1, rose 74% to $2.41 billion, largely driven by the inclusion of Saks, which it acquired in November 2013. Same-store sales rose 6.6%, with an increase of 5.2% at its namesake stores, a 3.1% increase at Saks, and a decline of 1.3% at Lord & Taylor.

The company will make a significant digital investment applying the lessons from Saks’ more developed e-commerce to its other chains, according to The Globe and Mail.

"Following our acquisition of Saks in November, we have developed a strategic roadmap with four core growth strategies," stated Richard Baker, HBC's governor and CEO. "First is the expansion of HBC Digital to drive sales across all of our banners. Second, we will prioritize the expansion of Off 5th, Saks' value-oriented format.”

Baken said the retailer plans to significantly increase Off 5th's presence through new stores and digitally.

“Expansion of Saks into Canada is our third major strategy,” Baker said. “We believe the Canadian market represents an opportunity for up to seven full-line Saks Fifth Avenue locations and up to 25 Off 5th stores, as well as digital commerce initiatives.”

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