The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue got a little too happy swinging the ax this summer.
Hudson’s Bay Co., which also owns Lord & Taylor, admitted Wednesday a June bloodbath that claimed 2,000 workers threw its operations into chaos this fall, hitting sales online particularly hard.
HBC shares were recently off 12 percent at C$10.21 on Wednesday after the retailer reported weaker-than-expected sales and widening losses for the third quarter.
“We did see digital sales bounce back in the fourth quarter, particularly over Black Friday,” Chief Financial Officer Ed Record told analysts on a Wednesday conference call. “So we feel good about where we are, but there was clearly some disruption as we got there.”
The June layoffs had claimed more than 900 workers at Hudson’s Bay’s corporate offices alone, leaving more than a third of the remaining employees with new jobs to tackle, including in merchandising, buying, digital and marketing, Record said.
Retail sales at the Toronto-based department store company declined 4.2 percent to C$3.2 billion and digital sales increased just 2.1 percent in the quarter.
Steeper discounts and weaker customer traffic at the company’s 495 stores also weighed on sales, the company said.
Amidst the sales slide, HBC CEO Gerald Storch left the company in October. A search for his successor is underway while HBC’s chairman, Richard Baker is serving as interim CEO.
“We continue to focus more on digital,” Baker said in a statement, pointing to the company’s deal last month to create a Lord & Taylor flagship on Walmart.com.
The company reported a net loss of C$243 million compared with a C$125 million loss a year ago.
Source: NY Post Fashion Feed