Hudson’s Bay teaming up with outside retailer Mountain Tools Co.

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TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. is partnering with Mountain Equipment Co. (MEC) to bring the outdoor retailer’s wares to three department stores and its website.

The partnership gives MEC a stronger physical and online presence in the Toronto area and gives Hudson’s Bay access to the attractive outdoor leisure market, executives from both retailers said in an interview.

MEC plans to open the shop-in-shops at Hudson’s Bay’s flagship department store on Queen Street, Yorkdale and Square One shopping centers this fall.

The stores offer a selection of outdoor gear, footwear and apparel, with an expanded range of merchandise available later in the season on TheBay.com.

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“It’s essentially a brand new category for Hudson’s Bay,” said Wayne Drummond, president of Hudson’s Bay. He added that the partnership brings MEC’s ​​outdoor expertise to the department store.

MEC said its stores within the department store will reflect the experience and expertise available across its 21 standalone stores.

“We agreed that this really has to be the legitimate MEC experience, namely MEC employees,” said Eric Claus, CEO and Chairman of MEC.

Some of the staff will be taken over from existing branches, he said.

“We are already in the process of hiring employees who will be trained in our branches,” said Claus.

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MEC’s ​​in-house label as well as popular outdoor brands such as Scarpa, Salomon, The North Face and Black Diamond will be represented in the shops.

A wider selection of MEC goods will be available through the department store’s online marketplace, Claus said.

“Offering online is really an extended aisle, which allows us to offer Bay’s customers a lot more products than just the range we have in stores,” he said.

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MEC will be a third party on Bay’s marketplace, meaning that goods will be sold and shipped directly by MEC through Bay’s website.

Hudson’s Bay opened its website to third-party retailers in Spring 2021, adding hundreds of new brands and thousands of items to its online product range.

“The marketplace initiative has done very well over the past year,” said Drummond. “We passed the $1 billion demand mark on TheBay.com.”

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