The Bay Set to Launch Third-Party Marketplace This Year

Hudson’s Bay Co. will join a growing e-commerce trend by hosting third-party vendors on a revamped thebay.com.

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Need to Know

  • Hudson’s Bay Co. will launch an online marketplace for third-party vendors this year.
  • The new marketplace, which will live on a revamped thebay.com, will list products in the apparel, home, beauty, and accessories categories.
  • Applications for vendors are now being accepted.
  • The Bay joins Loblaw, Kroger, Walmart, and more in launching and expanding third-party marketplaces over the last year.

Analysis

North America’s oldest company is entering the third-party marketplace arena.

Hudson’s Bay Co. has announced that it will be launching a digital third-party marketplace later this year. The company, which will host the third-party marketplace on a revamped thebay.com, is currently accepting applications for vendors via an online form and will be selling goods that fall within its current categories of apparel, home, beauty, and accessories, as well as potential new categories.

In order to apply for consideration, vendors are asked if they currently ship to the US and Canada, how many retailers currently carry their brand, and whether they currently sell in any other marketplaces. The Bay’s online vendor application form also asks whether an applicant’s product is BIPOC owned or designed, though answering this question is not mandatory.

Hudson’s Bay had previously announced plans to launch a third-party marketplace in November of last year. At the time, Adam Powell, senior vice-president of OMNI customer experience of Hudson’s Bay, said the company was “already ahead of where we needed to be in terms of building this platform,” adding that its development “coincided with the timing of the pandemic.”

The Bay’s third-party marketplace is slated to launch later this year. With the new business model, The Bay is competing with retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart, both of which host third-party marketplaces; Walmart’s Marketplace doubled in size in 2020, thanks to a strategic partnership with Shopify, demonstrating the efficacy of the model—especially now, as most commerce has been driven online due to COVID-19.

Other retail chains have entered the third-party marketplace business in the past year, including IKEA, which began offering its products on third-party sellers—such as Alibaba—early last year. US grocery chain Kroger launched a third-party marketplace late last year, where it will eventually host an additional 50,000 items for Kroger, including toys, housewares, and specialty food items, all of which will be provided by Kroger’s existing brand partners. And in Canada, grocery giant Loblaw launched a new online marketplace in late 2019, where it sells items from brands such as Umbra and Lennox Furniture Inc. through its PC Express click-and-collect service.

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