SBD/Issue 96/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Hudson's Bay Hoping To Use Olympics To Reconnect With Customers

Hudson's Bay Hopes Canadian Olympic Team
Connection Will Boost Business
Toronto-based Hudson's Bay Co., the official outfitter of the Canadian Olympic team, "is betting heavily on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games as a way to reconnect with customers, even as it takes steps internally to consolidate its flagging operations," according to Marina Strauss of the GLOBE & MAIL. The company, which yesterday cut 1,000 jobs, next week "will unveil a new corporate logo tied to its heritage as the country's oldest company and an Olympics strategy that will tie its name closely to the Games." Hudson's Bay parent company Hudson's Bay Trading Co. CEO Jeff Sherman: "The Olympics is an opportunity to communicate a rebranding of the strategy of the Hudson's Bay Co. It's an opportunity to recommunicate and reconnect to the marketplace. We are looking backwards to our heritage and combining both our heritage and our future." Vendors said that in the past they were "reluctant to sell to the Bay because of the department store chain's fading image." Strauss reports Hudson's Bay "taking advantage of the Olympics would be a turnaround from the company's experience after last year's Summer Games, when its stores were left with unsold Olympics clothing that they had to sell off at heavy markdowns." Sherman has said that those designs "didn't resonate with customers." The company for the Vancouver Games is "working on creating more sought-after designs that will be commercially viable for a longer period" (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).

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