October 19, 2012, 1:20 PM

Hudson’s Bay projects 70% e-commerce growth as it prepares to go public

Its 2011 e-commerce sales totaled $83.8 million, Hudson’s Bay says.

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As Hudson’s Bay Co., the Canada-based parent company of department store Lord & Taylor, prepares to go public it is shining some light on its e-commerce sales.

In fiscal 2011, Hudson’s Bay e-commerce sales totaled C$82.5 million (US$83.8 million), an 87.5% increase from C$44.0 million (US$44.7 million) in 2010, the company says in its prospectus. It expects e-commerce sales to increase 70.0% in fiscal 2012 to C$140.2 million (US$142.26 million).

Overall Hudson’s Bay 2011 sales of C$3.85 billion (US$3.91 million) were about 3.5% higher than its 2010 sales of C$3.72 million (US$3.78 million).

Hudson’s Bay, which also operates department store Hudson’s Bay and housewares retailer Home Outfitters in Canada, says the e-commerce totals do not include Home Outfitters, which is expected to launch its e-commerce site early next year.

That launch is one part of Hudson’s Bay’s plan to complete a migration to all its brands selling online. Hudson’s Bay operates 91 Hudson’s Bay stores, 46 Lord & Taylor stores and 69 Home Outfitters stores. Hudson’s Bay is No. 100 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide.

“We are in the process of launching a complete omnichannel platform, which reaches well beyond our e-commerce site into mobile devices and back into our traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, that will provide our customers with shopping flexibility,” the company states in its prospectus.

The retailer spent C$10.4 million (US$10.6 million) in fiscal 2011 on its multiple channel strategy that includes stores, e-commerce and mobile commerce, a 352.2% increase from C$2.3 million (US$2.3 million) in fiscal 2010, the first year for these expenses.

Hudson’s Bay says this strategy centers on increasing brand recognition, gaining the ability to target online customers who resemble its in-store shoppers demographically, and integrating its store and e-commerce channels. The new e-commerce technology will enable salespeople to sell merchandise that may be out of stock in a store by selecting inventory from other stores or online, with the goods shipped directly to the customer. The company did not disclose whether the technology was being developed in-house or by a supplier.

The online fulfillment centers will draw upon store inventories, Hudson’s Bay says, to fulfill sales originating online and with mobile devices.

The retailer also wants to sell more of its branded and private-label products through other e-commerce retailers, “which we believe will also provide us with an opportunity to increase sales and reach customers outside of our store footprint,” Hudson’s Bay says.

Hudson’s Bay expects to lists its stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange by Jan. 31.

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