The Canadian department store chain Hudson's Bay will leave the Netherlands at the end of 2019, reports Het Financieele Dagblad on Saturday on the basis of documents on which it was able to lay hands. Trade union CNV confirms the departure, which costs more than 1400 people their jobs.

The documents that the FD viewed came from Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), the owner of the Dutch stores. The department store chain has only been active in the Netherlands since 2017. Until now it was expected that Hudson's Bay would continue to exist in the Netherlands, but would have to make cuts.

"Due to the long-term financially untenable situation, the shareholders have decided to stop further financing in HBC and to close the stores in the Netherlands by the end of 2019," according to Het Financieele Dagblad .

Departure leads to 1,424 layoffs

A total of 1,424 employees work at the fifteen department stores and at the head office in the Netherlands. Hudson's Bay has branches in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Almere, among others.

For director Jacqueline Twerda of CNV Vakmensen, it was "hardly a real surprise, but a very bitter end that hits roughly 1,400 people", she says. The trade union has a meeting with the management in the shortest possible time "to arrange good compensation".

The arrival of the department store chain was big news two years ago, because it took over the real estate from V&D, which went bankrupt in February 2016. In this way, large, vacant buildings in shopping streets were filled again, but the adventure did not last long. "The customer was not there and the costs remained high," said Twerda.

No bankruptcy

A spokesperson for CNV Vakmensen emphasizes that there is no question of bankruptcy. "It is a company closure, the activities are being transferred to other countries." This means there is room for a social plan. "But the Dutch adventure ends."

Many of the more than 1,400 employees had short-term contracts, the spokesman said. The biggest blows were at the head office, more employees had a long-term or permanent contract.


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