UPDATE: March 22, 2021: Noting that "online shopping has more than doubled in Canada over the past year," Hudson's Bay on Monday said that its new marketplace on thebay.com will feature more than 500 sellers by the end of the year. Categories will include sports and recreation, tech, pets, health and wellness, and vintage designer handbags and watches, according to a company press release.
- As retailers find ways to adapt to a more digital-focused world, Hudson's Bay on Tuesday announced that the retailer is launching an online marketplace, according to a company press release.
- The department store put a call out for Canadian vendors to become part of its seller community in apparel, home, beauty or accessories. The retailer is also considering new lines of product offerings.
- The marketplace will launch on thebay.com later in 2021, per the release. Potential sellers can fill out a marketplace application form.
Hudson's Bay is preparing to enter into the crowded marketplace space.
The retailer, a sister company to Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th, said the marketplace initiative is part of its "digital-first strategic evolution," and is inviting large and small businesses to become a part of its seller community.
Vendors must fill out an application to be considered for the program and answer questions about whether they ship to Canada, sell on other marketplaces or are BIPOC-owned or designed, and how many retailers currently carry their brand.
Marketplaces have become an imperative line of revenue for many large retailers, which can collect commissions and fees from their sellers. Amazon this week revealed that its marketplace played a large role in its fourth quarter, with independent sellers landing 50% year-over-year sales growth. Tthose small businesses notched $4.8 billion in sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday — up 60% from the year prior. Nearly 60% of products sold on the Amazon site come from third parties.
In a report this summer, Marketplace Pulse said Walmart's marketplace is part of the company's larger digital efforts, with the number of sellers on its platform doubling to more than 50,000 from 2019. Walmart last year also partnered with Shopify to bring 1,200 sellers to its third-party marketplace, with a focus on "U.S.-based small and medium businesses whose assortment compliments ours," Walmart Marketplace Vice President Jeff Clementz said at the time.
Hudson Bay's this week confirmed the layoff of 600 employees, all of whom worked at the company's department stores in Canada. The retailer, which currently has 88 full-line stores, is not closing any of its locations. However, some locations are temporarily closed due to lockdown rules for nonessential retailers in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.