Off 5th expands in New York

Hudson's Bay Company (TSE:HBC) continues to expand its off-price concepts, announcing plans to open an Off 5th location just two blocks from Bloomingdale's 59th Street flagship.

The new 47,333 sq. ft. store will be the first Saks Off 5th to open in New York City.

The location will feature a lobby entrance at street level with access to two lower level floors. The opening in Manhattan is part of Off 5th's plans to open in high density, high traffic locations. The company previously announced the opening of a unit in downtown Manhattan, scheduled for 2017.

"Manhattan is a huge market," said Hudson's Bay CEO Gerald Storch, according to Women's Wear Daily. "There's plenty of room for two Saks Fifth Avenue locations and two Off 5ths."

There's also plenty of room to expand the concept. There are plans to open up to eight new units in Canada next year and bring the model to Europe.

"We intend on bringing Off 5th to Germany," Storch said. "With the acquisition, we'll have the largest department store chains in Germany and Belgium and an established foothold in Europe to grow Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th. We can have up to 40 Off 5th stores [in Europe]."

Hudson's Bay is betting heavily on the off-price retail model, and not just with Off 5th. The company announced a new concept, Find @ Lord & Taylor, a deep-discount offshoot from its Lord & Taylor division. The first unit is scheduled to open this month in Paramus, New Jersey, with six additional locations slated for 2016.

"Off-price continues to be a key driver of HBC's growth strategy, and we are thrilled to expand this business with the introduction of our newest concept," Storch said. "We see significant opportunity for expansion and remain committed to investing in this sector through new store opening and developments. We believe Find @ Lord & Taylor will be a great entry point to introduce the Lord & Taylor brand to new consumers."

Hudson's Bay is one of the fastest growing retailers in the United States, according to the National Retail Federation, and the off-price model is one that a good many department stores are banking on. Macy's recently opened its Backstage off-price format, although the Macy's owned Bloomingdale's has yet to bow its own version.

For more:
-See this Hudson's Bay announcement
-Read the Women's Wear Daily article

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