The Canadian department store chain Hudson's Bay is leaving the Netherlands at the end of 2019, reports Het Financieele Dagblad ( FD ) on Saturday on the basis of documents it managed to get hold of. Trade union CNV confirms the departure that more than fourteen hundred people are costing their jobs.
The documents that 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 FD , the letter says.
Hudson's Bay states that it cannot confirm the departure. A spokesperson said that the department store chain is still in full discussion with shareholders and stakeholders.
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 will hit roughly fourteen hundred people," she says. The trade union has a meeting with the management as soon as possible "to arrange good compensation".
The arrival of the chain two years ago was big news, 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 that didn't last long. "The customer was not there and the costs remained high," said Twerda.
See also: Retail expert: 'Hudson's Bay has done too little effort'
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 fourteen hundred employees had short-term contracts, the spokesman said. The main blows are at the head office, where employees often had a long-term or permanent contract.
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