Hudson's Bay in the Netherlands: their chances from the consumer's perspective

Hudson's Bay 

In September last year, the Hudson’s Bay Company opened their first Hudson’s Bay stores in the Netherlands, the first outside Canada in their 347-year history.  With the expansion, the company strengthens its position as a player in Northwestern Europe.  

What happened to them? 

It has been awfully silent around the company ever since, until yesterday, when they told the press they will not have 20 stores in the Netherlands as they earlier announced, but that they will focus on having 15, of which 10 are already up and running.  

It's  hard to hide for them that the first results have been disappointing for the company in the Netherlands. Some experts question whether they will succeed at al within the Dutch retail landscape, in which recently some larger retail formulas have disappeared due to changing consumer preferences and a consumers’ shift to online.

The Research 

 Bidding for Hudson's Bay shopping Credit in a Veylinx real life auction

Bidding for Hudson's Bay shopping Credit in a Veylinx real life auction

We love new stores and are obsessed by what consumers motivates to shop. Therefore we got to the bottom of this issue. 

Together with Veylinx, we conducted market research among 1,195 consumers. We asked them about their opinions about the stores and the experiences they had so far and compared them to those they had at other stores. The Research was performed in December 2017 and January 2018 among a representative set of Dutch consumers.

On top of that Veylinx measured consumers’ Willingness to Shop  at Hudson’s Bay and competing stores, with the help of their unique Veylinx method that measures consumers’ true spending behavior.

The Report

Front report Hudson's Bay NL.jpg

Hudson's Bay in the Netherlands 

Buy the Report

We gathered all the results in a Report. The report (85 pages), contains a clear overview of the research results as well as clear recommendations of how Hudson's Bay could become successful within the Dutch Retail Market. The Report can be purchased in our webshop

See an impression of the research in the video below or download a public version of the report:

Main Findings:

  • It looks like Hudson’s Bay has successfully created brand awareness with minimal effort (free publicity)
  • The awareness generated leads to an initial Willingness to Shop among Dutch consumers
  • It looks however that consumers are unclear of the store’s positioning. The free publicity, may have been beneficial for the brand so far, but it leaves them with little control of what they want to communicate to the consumers 
  • This unclarity leads to a disappointing first shopping experience and it looks like visiting Hudson’s Bay does not trigger consumers to visit or shop again 
  • For a company that aims to be a sub-premium (but above middle-end) player,  their pricing is (perceived) as too high
  • Although they aim to position themselves in the middle of both, they have a high overlap with Bijenkorf (premium store) and none with former V&D (middle-end)
  • Their online store does not seem to play a significant role at this moment

Some Facts & Figures from the Report (click on the picture for more info)