September 17, 2013, 4:42 PM

Hudson’s Bay web sales growth tops 56% in the second quarter

The Canadian retail chain also names the future president of Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Hudson’s Bay Co. had strong sales in the second quarter, led by e-commerce. And the Canadian merchant announced that Marigay McKee will be the future president of Saks Fifth Avenue, effective with the closing of the Saks Inc. acquisition later this year.

For the second quarter ended Aug. 3, Hudson’s Bay, No. 158 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • E-commerce sales of C$37.3 million ($36.2 million), an increase of 56.1% from about C$23.9 million ($23.2 million) in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Comparable-store sales grew 3.5%.
  • Total sales of C$947.7 million ($920.5 million), a 3.9% increase from C$911.9 million ($885.7 million).
  • Net income was C$3.9 million ($3.8 million), compared with a net loss of C$2.0 million ($1.9 million) in the second quarter of 2012.

Web sales accounted for 3.9% of total sales in the second quarter compared with 2.6% in the same period last year.

“We are pleased by the continued growth of our e-commerce sales, which accelerated in the second quarter and are up approximately 45% year-to-date following our re-launch of both banner web sites,” says Richard Baker, CEO. “Our online business was a key factor in our results, and reflects our increased investment in this component of our business.” TheBay.com and LordandTaylor.com are the retailer’s flagship e-commerce sites.

For the first sixth months of fiscal 2013, Hudson’s Bay reported:

  • E-commerce salesgrew to C$68.4 million ($66.4 million), an increase of 44.6% from about C$47.3 million ($45.9 million) in the first six months of 2012.
  • Total sales were C$1.832 billion ($1.780 billion), an increase of 4.1% from C$1.760 billion ($1.709 billion).
  • Comparable-store sales increased by 3.8%.
  • Net loss was C$10.4 million ($10.1 million), compared with a net loss of C$25.2 million ($24.5 million) in the prior year period.

Web sales accounted for 3.7% of total sales in the first six months of this year compared with 2.7% in the same period last year.

In July, Hudson’s Bay announced it would acquire Saks in an all-cash transaction valued at about $2.9 billion, including debt. The transaction was approved by each company’s board of directors and is expected to close before the end of the calendar year.

The combined company will operate 321 stores, including 179 full-line department stores, 73 outlet stores and 69 home stores in prime retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, along with three e-commerce sites.

As the closing approaches, Hudson’s Bay said yesterday McKee will be the future president of Saks Fifth Avenue. The appointment will take effect shortly after completion of the acquisition.

McKee joins Hudson’s Bay with more than 20 years of management and merchandising experience, including serving as chief merchant of Harrods, the British luxury department store. Harrods is No. 359 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Europe 500.

Jennifer de Winter, currently executive vice president and director of stores for Saks Inc., will become executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of Saks Fifth Avenue after the deal closes. She will report to McKee.

In addition, Hudson’s Bay created a new office of the chairman, consisting of Baker and Donald Watros, chief operating officer. Senior executives of Hudson’s Bay retail businesses, among others, will report to the office of the chairman. This new organizational structure is designed to “advance the company’s development as a growing, premier North American retailer and ensure a seamless merger process with Saks,” the company says.

Steve Sadove, current chairman and CEO of Saks Inc., and Ron Frasch, president and chief merchant of Saks Fifth Avenue, will not remain with the company following the close of the transaction, Baker says.

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