Hudson’s Bay realigns leadership for Gilt and Saks Off 5th

April 22, 2016 12:33 PM

Hudson’s Bay Co., the Canada-based parent company of luxury department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor as well as the Hudson’s Bay chain, this week moved executives around as it incorporates the management team of web-only flash sale apparel retailer Gilt Groupe Inc., which it bought in January.

Hudson’s Bay, which acquired Gilt in January for $250 million, intends to utilize Gilt’s expertise in mobile and personalization technology across its retail sites, but a spokeswoman declined to give a timeline or other details about the e-commerce integration plan. Hudson’s Bay banners number 10 and include Saks, outlet store brand Saks Off 5th, Gilt, Lord & Taylor, Home Outfitters and SportArena, as well as the Hudson’s Bay chain of 90 stores in Canada.

Hudson’s Bay is No. 75 in the newly released Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide with $547.9 million 2015 web sales, according to data.

The executive appointments are as follows:

  • Steve Jacobs was named senior vice president of digital technology for all of HBC. He previously was chief product officer and head of demand marketing at Gilt, the spokeswoman says.
  • Aaron Shockey is now senior vice president of marketing for Gilt and Saks Off 5th, plus Gilt City, a “lifestyle” site that offers deals at restaurants, concerts and other venues in 13 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Shockey had been senior vice president of HBC digital marketing and customer insights.
  • Kristen Sosa’s role as chief merchant was expanded to include Gilt and Saks Off 5th. She held that position at Saks Off 5th.

An analyst in December suggested Hudson’s Bay could benefit by acquiring Gilt and emulating the success of department store rival Nordstrom Inc., which has made gains online and offline since acquiring Gilt competitors and Trunk Club. “Hudson’s Bay is trying to give the consumer a spectrum of online and offline options, as now they’ll have Saks, Gilt and Off 5th,” Tom Forte, an e-commerce analyst and senior vice president at Brean Capital LLC told Internet Retailer.

This mirrors the strategy Nordstrom (No. 18) put into place in 2011 when it acquired for $180 million. Nordstrom executives have consistently reported strong results from the HauteLook brand, and it has expanded the retailer’s reach with younger consumers.




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