Why are some B.C. Hudson’s Bay stores closed? Company says it’s working on it

Click to play video: 'Hudson’s Bay store closures spark more questions'
Hudson’s Bay store closures spark more questions
Questions continue to swirl around the future of the Hudson's Bay Company, with the sudden closure of stores in Vancouver and Victoria. Kristen Robinson reports – Jul 9, 2024

The future of Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver and Victoria remains unclear on Tuesday after the sudden closure of both cities’ stores.

In a statement, the Hudson’s Bay Company said the Vancouver store has been closed because the current heatwave overwhelmed its HVAC systems.

The company said the same problem also closed the Victoria store.

“The current heatwave has caused strain on HVAC systems in certain Hudson’s Bay locations,” the organization said in a statement.

“We are working to address (this) as quickly as possible. The comfort and wellbeing of customers and associates remains our top priority.”

The Vancouver store has already had problems with broken elevators and escalators, forcing customers to walk up and down stairs in the six-floor building.

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Click to play video: 'Hudson’s Bay facing challenges in Vancouver'
Hudson’s Bay facing challenges in Vancouver

One retail expert told Global News that this latest glitch is another example of the Bay not maintaining its stores.

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“This is just part of all that story, where the HVAC is not being maintained properly, and we’re now hitting an extreme weather event,” retail analyst David Ian Gray said.

“I’m in Penticton right now at the Cherry Lane Bay, and they’re using plug-in cooling units to try and keep the store cool.”

HBC told Global News it is working as quickly as possible to re-open the stores.

Two years ago, the company unveiled plans to build a new 12-storey tower on top of its six-level Vancouver heritage building.

The company said it is still committed to that redevelopment.

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Along with the stores in Vancouver and Victoria, the Bay store in Prince George also appears to be closed. Its website stated it is open, however multiple calls to the store were never answered.

“I think they’ll still try and redevelop it,” Gray said.

“I believe the stall is more to do with a lot of stalled projects, where interest rates have kind of spiked up.”

Click to play video: 'Plan unveiled for redevelopment of downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay building'
Plan unveiled for redevelopment of downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay building

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