Hudson's Bay sales drop amid broader retail slump

A woman holds a Hudson's Bay shopping bag in front of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) flagship department store in Toronto January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Hudson’s Bay Co on Thursday reported a 2.9 percent decline in quarterly sales, saying fewer customers shopped in its stores, which include Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, amid a continuing shift toward online shopping.

The Toronto-based retailer disclosed the sales slump after Macy’s and Kohl’s reported bigger-than-expected declines in their sales early on Thursday, causing retail stocks to fall on concerns about the ongoing struggle by retailers to attract customers.

Hudson’s Bay shares were among those that fell, dropping 5.6 percent to C$10.69 in trading that closed before it released its sales figures.

The Toronto-based company said same-store sales fell 2.4 percent at its department store group, which includes Lord & Taylor, while comparable sales at Saks declined 4.8 percent.

Its discount banners, which include Saks Off 5th, fell 6.8 percent. Comparable sales were flat in Europe. The figures are for the quarter ended April 29, on a constant currency basis.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Jim Finkle and Tom Brown