The online retail marketplace arena is gaining a new challenger – in Canada.
Hudson’s Bay Co. is developing an online marketplace that will enable third-party vendors of all sizes to directly sell products to consumers. Calling the move part of its “digital-first strategic evolution,” the Canadian department store retailer intends to launch the new marketplace on its the bay.com e-commerce site during 2021.
According to Hudson’s Bay, the marketplace will offer products that fall within its current assortment of apparel, home, beauty and accessories, as well as new categories. The retailer says hundreds of sellers are already planning to join the launch, and other vendors can apply to participate via the online application portal. Like Hudson’s Bay e-commerce site, the marketplace will be restricted to Canadian customers.
The third-party online marketplace model is largely dominated by tech giants Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Google. All of these companies currently offer a Canadian version of their marketplace. However, in the past year, retailers including Kroger and Chipotle have taken steps toward opening U.S. online marketplaces.
Now Hudson’s Bay is preparing to take on the major players in Canada. The retailer could potentially expand its online marketplace model to the U.S. via its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidiary, although it is reportedly in talks to spin off Saks’ online business as a separate public company.
Founded in 1670 and headquartered in Brampton, Canada, Hudson’s Bay operates 88 stores across Canada.