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Hudson's Bay to close all Home Outfitters locations

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) announced last week that its Home Outfitters assets will be closed, along with 20 of its Saks Off Fifth Avenue stores located in the U.S.

According to HBC’s announcement, the closures are part of a cost reduction plan to both simplify business operations and improve profitability.

There are 37 Home Outfitters to be closed, likely over this year, while HBC stores will still provide similar services and products to markets where the closures will occur.

The Toronto-based company has not decided which Saks Off Fifth locations will be closed stateside, stating that there are 133 stores in total to be reviewed.

Its best Saks locations will be saved, and the company will move to focus on its e-commerce offerings for Saks customers.

The company is looking to offer internal opportunities to employees impacted by the closures.

Home Outfitters opened in Canada in 1999, according to CBC, employing “fewer than 700 people.”

“Further streamlining our retail portfolio enables even greater focus on our business with the strongest growth opportunities,” said HBC CEO Helena Foulkes. “We know this news is difficult for our associates. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to serve our customers and we will work to find opportunities within HBC for impacted team members where possible.”

Retail experts believe Home Outfitters met its demise on account of challenging profit margins and reduced foot traffic in brick and mortar stores.

“I know it’s a sad day for employees, but I’m surprised they kept it [Home Outfitters] open this long,” said Bruce Winder.