HBC to shutter Home Outfitters

The company is also reviewing its Saks Off 5th stores to further streamline its retail footprint.
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Hudson’s Bay Company is taking a hard look at the retail presence of its discount banners, announcing the closure of Home Outfitters and a review of Saks Off 5th’s footprint.

All of the company’s 37 Canadian Home Outfitters locations are set to be closed this year, though HBC did not give a more specific date for store closures.

HBC will also be conducting a “fleet review” of all 133 Saks Off 5th locations across North America, which it estimates will result in the closure of up to 20 locations in the U.S. The company said in an announcement that “the review and rationalization” of the stores will allow it to focus on its best locations and ecommerce site.

“Further streamlining our retail portfolio enables even greater focus on our businesses with the strongest growth opportunities,” said Helena Foulkes, who was named CEO of HBC one year ago. She also pointed to the company’s divestiture of Gilt, reducing the retail footprint for Lord & Taylor and merging its European retail operations with Germany’s Karstadt as examples that are setting the company up for “long-term success.”

Last week, HBC closed the sale of its flagship Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building in New York for $1.1 billion. That, along with other large-format retail locations, have been a common target for HBC activist investors, who have expressed concern that the company was not doing all it could to provide value to shareholders.

Home Outfitters was launched in 1998 as Bed, Bath & More, before changing over to its current name the following year. In 2016, it rebranded three locations to a new Hudson’s Bay Home banner as part of a pilot project, though the new banner didn’t spread beyond the test stores in Winnipeg.