The Hudson’s Bay Company fights to keep Olympic energy

The Hudson’s Bay Company fights to keep Olympic energy

Big-time branding: The Bay in downtown Vancouver (Photo by Brian Holsclaw) 

Hudson’s Bay Company, the group that owns The Bay, is seeing increased sales and investor interest, and a rebranding of the store’s image, all thanks to some little red mittens. The Bay’s Olympic gear, like the now-ubiquitous mitts emblazoned with a maple leaf and the Olympic rings, have become sought-after collector’s items, with bidding on eBay tripling sale prices from $10 to $30.

The Olympics mania was more manic than HBC CEO Jeff Sherman expected, he told the Globe, with sales of the merch exceeding projections by 50 per cent. The result: more shoppers are familiarizing themselves with the department store (its 400 locations had more traffic during the Vancouver games than they did during Beijing’s) and a higher percentage have reported that they expect to shop at the Bay again. Now that the huge surge in customer traffic has died down, we’ll be keeping an eye on what tricks HBC will play to continue defying the death of department stores. Stay tuned.

HBC tries to build on Olympic momentum [Globe and Mail]
Canadian style so hot, HBC Web site crashes [Toronto Life]