(Reuters) - Hudson’s Bay Co is working with investment bankers and consultants to identify deals and new measures to turn around its Lord & Taylor department store chain, once the cornerstone of its retail empire, people familiar with the matter said.
The move shows how the chain’s fortunes have diverged from Hudson’s Bay’s luxury Saks Fifth Avenue banner, which has managed to better weather the rise of online shopping sites including Amazon.com Inc and the resulting decline of brick-and-mortar stores. It comes as the company decided to sell its eponymous Hudson’s Bay department store in downtown Vancouver, Reuters reported exclusively on Monday.
The Canadian retailer has been working with investment bank PJ Solomon Co for advice on potential deals regarding its department store portfolio, and is also working with consulting firm AlixPartners LLP on cutting costs and reforming its business, the sources said.
Much of their focus has been on Lord & Taylor, which accounts for about one tenth of Hudson’s Bay’s stores, the sources added.
Hudson’s Bay is also open to divesting Lord & Taylor, but considers this outcome unlikely given the scarcity of potential buyers that would pay top dollar for it amid the retail sector’s malaise, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential deliberations. AlixPartners and PJ Solomon declined to comment.
“Lord & Taylor is a storied brand and we will continue to evolve it for the future,” a Hudson’s Bay spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, declining to comment on moves the company was considering with investment bankers and consultants.
“As we shared on our last earnings call, recent