Hudson’s Bay launches first private label beauty products

The retailer extends its coloured stripes into a line emphasizing natural ingredients and beauty essentials.

Hudsons Bay Les Essentiels Collection

Hudson’s Bay has added to its private label selection by extending its own brand into the beauty space.

“Les Essentiels” is a line of beauty and skincare products – including serums, primer, mascara, colour stick and under eye mask – all made to be paraben-, sulphate-, Phthalate- and cruelty-free, and all appearing in packaging bearing the retailer’s signature coloured stripe design.

The line was developed with By Britt, a Canadian beauty consultancy that helps companies develop products and brands. It was founded by Brittny Robins, who also created the Flawless by Friday beauty brand, which was first stocked in retail by Hudson’s Bay.

Catherine Kelly, VP of cosmetics at Hudson’s Bay, emphasized the focus on quality and “simple yet sophisticated beauty essentials” for the line in an announcement today, while Robins pointed to its natural ingredients, functionality and inclusivity. Prices range from $35 to $60, putting them slightly above drugstore brands but below some of the luxury brands Hudson’s Bay already carries in its beauty section.

Hudson’s Bay scaled back its private labels in 2012, focusing its efforts on five brands to grow sales – though one of those brands, Lord & Taylor, was sold off this year. Amidst that, the Hudson’s Bay Company Signature line, featuring the brand’s recognizable coloured stripes, has been expanding its selection, though it primarily plays in the fashion, accessories and home categories (with products ranging from blankets to furniture to kitchen ware).

The launch comes at the end of a tumultuous 2019 for The Hudson’s Bay company, namely in the form of a year-long effort to take the company private and reverse slipping revenues. After overcoming objections from activist investors to reach an agreement to go private by the end of the year, Catalyst Capital Group asked the Ontario Securities Commission to block or postpone the takeover this week, after the private equity group’s bid was rejected by a special committee struck by the company.