Hudson’s Bay looks into selling flagship downtown Vancouver store

The Hudson's Bay Co. says it is exploring the possibility of selling its store in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) is looking into selling its flagship store in downtown Vancouver.

The department store is under a long-term lease, which means even if it were sold, it would continue to operate at the Granville location.

It is believed the property could sell for as much as $900 million, which would make it one of the largest commercial real estate deals in the city’s history.

“We are exploring a sale of this flagship property as the Vancouver real estate market has appreciated significantly over the past several years. While no decision to sell has been made, we continue to explore opportunistic transactions to enhance shareholder value,” HBC CEO Richard Baker said in a news release.

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Lindsay Meredith, a professor of marketing at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, said the decision to explore a sale could be a sign of changes in the retail sector.

“Look, this is not a surprise, it’s the effect of changes in how millennials shop and it ain’t by knocking on bricks-and-mortar stores anymore,” he said.

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“Having said that, can you still survive? Sure. Look at Nordstrom, a very, very specific upscale market segment. People still want to put their hands on stuff and feel it and try it, but you know what, then they’ll turn around and buy it online.”

Vancouver, British Columbia on June 10, 1918. Hudson’s Bay Company stores, old store seen in the foreground, new store in the background, with Granville Street on left, Georgia Street on right, in downtown Vancouver. (CP PHOTO) 1999 (National Archives of Canada/W.H. Calder ) PA-122004

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