Hudson's Bay Company

The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; French: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada and the United States. It had been a member of the International Association of Department Stores from 2001 to 2005.[8][9]

Hudson's Bay Company
Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson
TypePrivate
IndustryRetail
Founded2 May 1670; 351 years ago (2 May 1670)
London, England
Headquarters8925 Torbram Road
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Richard Baker
(governor, executive chairman and CEO)
Revenue CA$9.4 billion (2018)
CA$−631 million (2018)
OwnerNRDC Equity Partners (48%)
Number of employees
30,000 (2017)[1]
Divisions
Websitehbc.com
Heraldic achievement of Hudson's Bay Company:[2] Argent, a cross gules between four beavers passant proper. Crest: On a chapeau gules turned up ermine a fox sejant proper. Supporters: Two bucks proper. Latin Motto: Latin: pro pelle cutem, lit.'skin for leather'[3] apparently a play on Job, 2:4: Pellem pro pelle[4] "skin for skin".[5][6][7]

In 2006, an American businessman, Jerry Zucker, bought HBC for US$1.1 billion, so it is no longer a Canadian-owned company. The company sold most of its European operations by August 2019 and its remaining stores, in the Netherlands, were closed by the end of 2019. HBC owns the Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores in the United States; most other American operations were sold by mid-2019 and the last remaining stores (Lord & Taylor chain) were sold prior to the end of 2019.

The company's namesake business division is Hudson's Bay, commonly referred to as The Bay (La Baie in French).[10]

After incorporation by English royal charter in 1670, the company functioned as the de facto government in parts of North America for nearly 200 years until the HBC sold the land it owned (the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin, known as Rupert's Land) to Canada in 1869 as part of the Deed of Surrender,[11][12] authorized by the Rupert's Land Act 1868.

At its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and later British-controlled North America. By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products from furs to fine homeware in a small number of sales shops (as opposed to trading posts) across Canada.[13][14] These shops were the first step towards the department stores the company owns today.[15]

In 2008, HBC was acquired by NRDC Equity Partners, which also owned the upmarket American department store Lord & Taylor.[16] From 2008 to 2012, the HBC was run through a holding company of NRDC, Hudson's Bay Trading Company, which was dissolved in early 2012.[17] HBC's head office is currently located in Brampton, Ontario.[18] Until March 2020, the company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "HBC.TO".