Hudson’s Bay Company has a long and complicated legacy. But does it have a future?

By The Big Story

In today’s Big Story podcast, the Hudson’s Bay company is one of the brand’s most closely associated with Canada. It’s also the single brand most associated with colonization, stolen land and genocide of Indigenous peoples.

These days, the company’s retail footprint is shrinking and it hasn’t become much of an online shopping destination. One thing it does have though, is billions of dollars in prime downtown real estate. It’s given one building away already — and the motives behind that are up for debate. Is this part of a broader shift in strategy for the once-mighty retailer?

Don Gillmor is award-winning Canadian novelist, journalist and children’s book author. He wrote about the history and future of the Hudson’s Bay Company in The Walrus.

“If they do convert the Calgary, Vanouver and Montreal stores [to office spaces], and have a beautiful high tech space… they may draw people away from existing older buildings, it’s a crapshoot but that’s something that could work out for them,” he said.

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