February 4, 2009 / 8:55 PM / in 9 years

Hudson's Bay lays off 1,000 amid downturn

TORONTO (Reuters) - Privately held Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay Co. is cutting 1,000 jobs in a bid to slash costs amid a severe economic downturn.

<p>Pedestrians walk past a Hudson's Bay store in downtown Ottawa in this July 16, 2008 file photo. The department store chain is cutting 1,000 jobs in a bid to slash costs amid a severe economic downturn. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The company said the cuts represent about 5 percent of its overall full-time workforce and, when combined with other cost cutting moves, should lead to annual savings of C$150 million ($121.9 million) in 2009.

Both administrative and store positions will be affected, the company said in a statement.

Hudson’s Bay, which operates The Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Fields store chains, has more than 600 retail outlets. It was originally founded by fur traders in 1670 and is North America’s oldest continuously operating company.

Last year, the company was bought by U.S.-based private equity group NRDC Equity Partners from the Zucker family.

($1=$1.23 Canadian)

Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson

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