MVRO successfully transforms stores for Hudson’s Bay
Only 16 months after Hudson’s Bay announced plans to enter the Dutch market, no less than ten Hudson’s Bay stores have been opened across the country. Industry experts and consumers alike are unanimous in their praise of this new, exciting shopping experience. Being the first Hudson’s Bay stores to open outside Canada, the challenges faced by Hudson’s Bay in taking their first step onto the European continent have been manifold. One of the largest of which has been the extensive renovation all stores.
‘We were acutely aware that we would be needing to tailor our unique concept to the Dutch consumer,’ remarks Harold Lam, Head of Construction & Facility Management Hudson’s Bay at HBC. ‘We wanted each department in the store to showcase new and exciting products and personalized customer experiences. This meant we had to totally renovate all stores to the Hudson’s Bay concept.’
‘For Hudson’s Bay it was a big step to enter the European market. We were adamant on getting everything exactly right from the very start. To do so, we went in search of a strong and highly experienced partner on whom we could rely to fulfil this major overhaul within the very stringent time limits. We were immediately impressed by the commitment shown by MVRO to this project. From the outset it was clear that these people knew what they were talking about. It was amazing to experience good they were at finding the solutions we were looking for.’
Piet van der Jagt, CEO at MVRO, and Lam cite five aspects which they call the ‘success factors’ to the timely opening of the stores and in creating the best possible entourage for the introduction of the Hudson’s Bay experience in the Netherlands. These were:
- Smooth logistics – With stores located in busy city centres with noise level regulations, limited access and limited space for loading, unloading and storing building materials, logistics was a major challenge. So-called ‘hubs’ outside city perimeters – established by MVRO – ensured a military precision in supplying building sites with just-in-time delivery of required materials.
- Understanding what the customer wants – Tailored to the Dutch consumer, the Hudson’s Bay stores were to have an ambiance that is welcoming, modern and natural. MVRO succeeded in putting in place an intricate mosaic of flooring made up of tiles and carpet in different shades, sizes and patterns.
- Close collaboration – With most lifts and escalators in the stores having been relocated elsewhere, major renovations and the building of new shafts were required. MVRO made a step-by-step plan in which demolition workers and escalator installers collaborated intensively to ensure the successful completion of this complex task.
- Dealing with the unforeseen – For the stores in The Hague and Rotterdam MVRO managed to keep the renovation planning in sync, after unforeseen rainy weather delayed build to the facades by days.
- Dealing with the essential details – With multiple suppliers being involved, the ‘finishing touch’ was the final logistical challenge for MVRO. Signage, carpets, curtains, ceiling elements, lighting, fixtures, check-out counters and displays all needed to be installed and up and running at the same time.
Van der Jagt adds: ‘Throughout, we worked in close collaboration with CallisonRTKL [part of Arcadis]. They were responsible for the design and drawings of all the stores. Their deep understanding of the relationship between brands, products and clients ensured we were able to put in place the enhanced retail experience that Hudson’s Bay was looking for.’
‘The turnkey realisation of the Hudson’s Bay stores required perfect process management. With many different parties involved, it was essential that processes were properly set out – right down to the very last detail – before building work commenced.’
Three new Hudson’s Bay stores open in Amersfoort, Enschede and Haarlem
March 2018 saw the opening of three new Hudson’s Bay stores in the Dutch cities of Amersfoort, Enschede and Haarlem. The number of Hudson’s Bay department stores in the Netherlands now totals thirteen. MVRO has been responsible for the total rebuild of the three new stores.