With the future of traditional retail up in the air, today's most substantial business rumour may seem a tad surprising. Reports from the Wall Street Journal have indicated plans of a massive acquisition by Canadian giant, the Hudson's Bay Company. This potential move would see the aforementioned brand take over real estate belonging to longstanding American chain, Macy's. Multiple media outlets are now citing the WSJ who proposed a deal in preliminary discussions, which could also be modified later as some sort of unspecified partnership. The news was a big hit with the stock exchange, as both companies received an admirable boost in shares following the alleged discussion.
Once a flourishing brand, Macy's has since fallen by the wayside and is currently in the middle of closing 100 stores in the United States. Along with the property closures, roughly 10,000 jobs would be eliminated in the process. Hudson's Bay is relatively stable in comparison, having purchased both Saks and Kaufhof department chains in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Just how Macy's would factor into their global empire requires more details to theorize.
Speaking with the Toronto Star, retail expert, Bruce Winder, said the acquisition would make Hudson's Bay one of the leading department chains in the world. Winder was sure to add, however, that the move comes with some caveats. “If they did the deal, they’re sort of investing in the softest sector of retail right now, which is department-store retail,” he said. “Department store retail is not going to strengthen because there are too many fundamentals changing it. People are shopping differently. People are buying online — mall traffic is down as much as 10 per cent in some areas of the U.S.”
When rumours of the deal made their way to press, both Macy's and HBC spokespeople remained tight-lipped and declined to comment.