Hudson’s Bay Co. hopes for transformation through trend-spotting as it aims to become Canada’s next online shopping marketplace.
The company opened its website to third-party sellers last month, adding hundreds of new brands and thousands of items to its online assortment of products as the pandemic continues to curtail in-store shopping. The new site will tout of-the-moment product categories including electronics, sporting goods, pet products, and more. The move marks a distinct shift for the retailer, which typically stuck to categories like clothing and home decor in the past. But as consumers increasingly demand an online experience as detailed, comprehensive, and seamless as offline experiences, the company’s initiative could not be more necessary.
Although its digital strategy stood strong before the pandemic with 225 million website visits a year and 5.6 million loyalty rewards member, the retailer sensed the new urgency of an even more complete experience for consumers. As such, to appeal further to its new audience, it will also be spotlighting local and Canadian brands on its site. This subtle addition would help Hudson’s Bay align its messaging to emerging consumer values, something leading labels in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores did to stay relevant in the pandemic.
As a department store in today’s age of simultaneously too many and too few options, the brand will need to find the balance between premium and accessible so as not to lose its voice or value along the way.