Top 3 ways to save The Bay

When it comes to being authentically Canadian, nary a retailer can rival The Bay. Good news then, that South Carolina businessman Jerry Zucker, who secured a deal to purchase the department store chain at press time, says he will keep it alive. So what will a revived HBC look like? Our pundits point to several international players that Zucker can look to for inspiration.

When it comes to being authentically Canadian, nary a retailer can rival The Bay. Good news then, that South Carolina businessman Jerry Zucker, who secured a deal to purchase the department store chain at press time, says he will keep it alive. So what will a revived HBC look like? Our pundits point to several international players that Zucker can look to for inspiration.

You are what you (offer to) wear

Part of it is being special to the customer, but it’s also being very efficient, and smart about the kind of merchandise you’re carrying. The U.S. model that has been able to turn it around is JC Penney. It has been able to exploit a multi-channel aspect and it has concentrated on name brands that are not in places like Wal-Mart. It also seemed to get its operations under control with systems that have allowed it to focus on profitable products.

Maureen Atkinson, senior partner, JC Williams Group, Toronto

Windows of opportunity

There are probably a lot of on-site things they could do. It’s about going back to those personal touches, like a great door man, the idea of taking your mom to tea. Harrods does just fine – it has a great food hall, a great restaurant. Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris – just look at the holiday windows and the buzz [it creates with] fashion shows, the smell of roasting chestnuts…. That fits that model. It doesn’t fit Target.

Philippe Garneau, ECD, GWP Brand Engineering, Toronto

Drop the 4th ‘a’ in ‘Canadiana’

Could it be a lifestyle shop? What if the first floor is purely about inspiration, including [goods for] your personal self and home, the second floor is all about basics – clothes and sheets, etc – and the third floor more of an elevated experience, or on the other hand, all sales? Some on my team even suggested carving out a space to celebrate Canada, not to make

it ‘Canadiana,’ but in the way that Harrods is inherently recognized as a

U.K. experience.

Joanne Balles, president, Perennial, Toronto