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Burnaby Hudson's Bay stores to allocate 15% of shelf-space to BIPOC brands

Stores to highlight diverse designers
Retailer Hudson's Bay plans to lay off 265 people across North American offices
Canadian Press photo

The Fifteen Percent Pledge Canada, a non-profit organization calling on major retailers to allocate 15% of shelf-space to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) brands, announced Thursday that Hudson’s Bay is the first Canadian department store to commit to the pledge.

There are two Bay stores in Burnaby, Lougheed Town Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown.

“We’re excited to welcome Hudson’s Bay as the first Canadian department store to take the pledge and commit to investing in BIPOC businesses,” said Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge. “As a Black business owner and proud Canadian, it’s encouraging to see this iconic brand take a pivotal step toward driving equity across retail. This is the first time Hudson’s Bay has made a commitment like this in its 350-year history, and we hope their dedication and leadership encourages other international retailers to support brands that are representative of their diverse populations.”

In joining the Fifteen Percent Pledge, Hudson’s Bay has committed that at least 15% of all new brands purchased by Hudson’s Bay for its stores and will be BIPOC-owned or designed, beginning with the Fall/Winter 2021 season. As part of the pledge, the department store will also be reviewing their internal business organization to ensure, by 2022, 15% or more of the design talent for owned brands are BIPOC, and will work toward supporting the onboarding, growth and success of emerging BIPOC brands.

“As one of the country’s leading corporate citizens, Hudson’s Bay has a responsibility to drive equity and inclusion in Canada,” says Iain Nairn, president and CEO of Hudson’s Bay. “Our commitment through the Fifteen Percent Pledge is part of a holistic change to how we do business, and will hold us accountable to providing opportunity and delivering products that are representative of the diversity of our customers, associates and communities.”