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Insight: Ed Burstell’s new home Hudson's Bay Company

Ed Burstell is leaving Liberty of London to take up the newly-created head of partnerships role at Hudson’s Bay Company. Drapers takes a closer look at the Canadian retail group.

Hudson's Bay

  • Hudson’s Bay Company was incorporated in 1670, and is the oldest company in North America.
  • The business started out as a fur trader, supplying Europe with felt hats made from beaver fur.
  • It was once the world’s largest landowner, having 15% of North American acreage.
  • It evolved into a retailer in the mid-19th century, selling everything from furs to homeware. It began opening its first department stores in 1912.
  • Over the next century, it continued to expand, acquiring a number of other businesses.
  • It opened its first speciality fascia, Home Outfitters, in 1999.
  • Transactional website hbc.com followed in 2000.
  • In 2008, NRDC Equity Partners, a New York–based private equity firm and the parent company of luxury department store Lord & Taylor, bought Hudson’s Bay Company.
  • In 2013, Hudson’s Bay Company announced a takeover of Saks Inc, operator of US department store Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • In September 2015, the group acquired German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof and its Belgian subsidiary from Metro Group.
  • Earlier this year, it acquired online flash Sales site Gilt.
  • Today, Hudson’s Bay Company owns and operates 10 retail fascias throughout Canada, the US, Germany and Belgium, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Galeria Kaufhof, Gilt, Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters and Lord & Taylor. It has 470 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.

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