Hudson's Bay Co. 'Taylors' a new deal

NEW YORK — Hudson's Bay Company, the Canadian retail conglomerate, and one of the oldest department-store operators in the world, announced Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of its affiliate, Lord & Taylor Holdings, LLC, the U.S. department-store company.

According to a company press release, Hudson's Bay will now operate the two leading retail banners in North America, The Bay and Lord & Taylor. Prior to the transaction, Hudson's Bay Company and Lord & Taylor were side-by-side affiliate entities.

Richard Baker will remain governor and CEO of the newly restructured company, with Donald Watros continuing as COO. Bonnie Brooks, currently president and CEO of The Bay, will become president of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Baker said, "We are fortunate to have both Don Watros and Bonnie Brooks round out the leadership team of the Hudson's Bay Company. Don's operational and financial expertise has been instrumental in contributing to both The Bay and Lord & Taylor's year-over-year profitability despite the poor economic environment around the globe."

Lord & Taylor and The Bay will maintain their distinct identities and nameplates while leveraging the merchandising strengths of the organizations to improve and accelerate their continued growth, the company stated. 

If those changes mimic those that have been implemented at The Bay stores in Canada, as Brooks referred to during a presentation at the National Retail Federation convention in New York earlier this month, than U.S. shoppers should expect to see more modern store layouts, increased designer merchandise and partnerships with big-name fashion labels.

Baker also noted, "We look forward to an even stronger 2012 with this new leadership structure in place and the strength of two dynamic teams coming together and leading the HBC into the future."

Brendan Hoffman president and CEO of Lord &Taylor will be leaving the company to pursue another opportunity.

As part of the transaction, Hudson's Bay invested $427 million in Lord & Taylor, which used the proceeds entirely to reduce corporate debt.