Hudson’s Bay Company (commonly known as HBC) is the largest chain of retail stores in Canada. The roots of present day Hudson’s Bay Company can be traced back to as far as four centuries ago. During the 17th century, much of Canada was under the French rule and the fur trade – the distinct monetary attraction that Europe had for Canada. Hudson’s Bay Company was established somewhere in latter half of the 17th century. The original name under which it was incorporated was quite quirky as well – The Governor and the Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson Bay.
This outfit has gone through uncountable transformations through years, decades and centuries. From trading precious fur (a thing deemed highly immoral and illegal today in Canada) to trading spices, Hudson’s Bay Company has done it all its existence of four centuries and counting.
Getting into retail
For much of its existence, Hudson’s Bay Company has been a trading company. It set up trading posts in deep interiors of Canada – places no Europeans had ever been to. These posts have today evolved into large cities and towns. Thus, the contribution of Hudson’s Bay Company in the evolution of Canadian economy and national culture is unmistakably large. The company had to wind down much of its fur and other animal produce trade just before the First World War. After this, Hudson’s Bay Company has mainly acted out as a retailer of goods and the flow of goods has reverse. The initial fur trade was from Canada to Europe, while the retail trade is mainly from Europe to Canada.
Hudson’s Bay Company today operated under its own name as well as through its numerous wholly owned subsidiaries. There are over 70 locations in Canada that sell home accessories, home décor, personal care products, cosmetics, beauty and fashion products, apparel, food products, groceries and jewellery. In the United States, Hudson’s Bay Company operates Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Lord & Taylor.
Hudson’s Bay Company is a public company and is owned in parts by its thousands of shareholders. At present, there are over 13000 employees on the payroll of Hudson’s Bay Company.
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Hudson’s Bay Company offers credit system to its qualified buyers. Under this scheme, buyers can enrol for a special Hudson’s Bay Company line of credit that allows them to buy goods and make payments in instalments.