HBC chief pushes “focus”, streamlining

NEW YORK ― Hudson’s Bay Co. CEO Helena Foulkes has spent her first year on the job shedding under-performing assets and strengthening the company’s core business, according to an interview with Fortune. “I’ve been trying to get the organization to focus more,” she told the magazine.

When Foulkes took the helm, HBC was bridled with debt and stretched over too many markets, while its Lord & Taylor and Saks Off Fifth banners were flagging. Meanwhile, the good-news story has been the original Saks Fifth Avenue banner, leading Foulkes to apply the lessons of its success across the company. “The lessons for other brands is clarity,” she said. “At Lord & Taylor, we as a company had taken our eye off the ball of who is our customer. We heard the world was going younger, so we tried to go younger… It’s basic: It’s knowing who you want to win with and being relevant and important to those customers.”