Hudson Bay to buy Macys? Riiiiiiight.

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

8 February 2017

Retailers need an intervention

I love how “people familiar with the matter” dictate the course of events today. The Wall Street Journal reported that Canadian retailer, Hudson Bay, the parent of Lord and Taylor and Saks, has approached Macy’s about a possible deal. This, according to the aforementioned, from “people familiar with the matter.”

Seriously? This is news? Does anyone believe this shit?

“Like so many other industries that face troubles – fast food comes to mind – the answers are not part of the traditional institutional collective. Fixing retail takes an outsider’s perspective.”

 

Hudson BayThe idea of the smaller Hudson Bay entertaining the idea of taking over Macy’s is ludicrous. Though, on second thought. This is just the kind of thinking that brings retail to its current, sad state. This is akin to Luxemburg taking over the United States. (We’ll see how that analogy plays out after the next four years.)

Macy’s is a behemoth that Hudson Bay could not afford. Besides, just ask Macy’s itself how its acquisition strategy has gone.

Hudson Bay should consider a different strategy

Getting bigger does not mean getting wealthier in the retailing business. At least not any more. Macy’s has proven that brick and mortar is not the solution. But Hudson Bay begs to differ if the Wall Street Journal is to be believed. What would a Hudson Bay-owned Macy’s even look like?

This is the problem with retailers. It is not the individuals who run these companies. The collective institutional thinking of the retail industry is the problem. It is the thinking that what once worked will work again.

To fix retail, retailers must get out of their own way. Like so many other industries that face troubles – fast food comes to mind – the answers are not part of the traditional institutional collective. Fixing retail takes an outsider’s perspective.

Hudson Bay surely wants to grow. But acquiring Macy’s is not a growth strategy. It is a death wish. The retail space is littered with the carcasses of companies who tried and failed at the same strategy.

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