REFILE-UPDATE 1-Canada's Hudson's Bay plays down more Europe expansion

Tue May 17, 2016 3:53pm EDT
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(Refiles to correct typographical error in sixth paragraph)

* Will open up to 20 stores in Netherlands in next two years

* Chairman says no great desire to enter new countries

* First time Hudson's Bay brand featured outside Canada

By Matt Scuffham and Anthony Deutsch

TORONTO/AMSTERDAM, May 17 (Reuters) - Canadian department store operator Hudson's Bay Co said on Tuesday it will open up to 20 stores in the Netherlands in the next two years, but played down the chances of entering more countries in Europe.

Hudson's Bay, which was founded in 1670 and is the oldest continuously operating company in North America, has expanded into Europe to help mitigate the impact of challenging markets in the United States and Canada.

The company, which also owns U.S. luxury retail chain Saks Fifth Avenue, said on Tuesday it planned to lease prime locations in the Netherlands previously occupied by the oldest Dutch department store, V&D, which went bankrupt in December.

The expansion means it will have a presence in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as it pursues its aspiration to become a "premier global retailer"   Continued...