Downtown Winnipeg Bay store to close in February 2021

A Winnipeg landmark will shut its doors next year.

The Hudson’s Bay Company confirmed in a statement Friday that its nearly century-old downtown Winnipeg location will close in February 2021.

“With shifting consumer behaviour and changes to how and where customers are shopping, after careful consideration Hudson’s Bay has determined it will close its downtown Winnipeg location in February 2021,” company spokesperson Tiffany Bourré said in a statement emailed to CBC on Friday.

The Hudson’s Bay Co. building at the corner of Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard opened on Nov. 18, 1926.

Once a retail hub in the city, in recent years, only two of the building’s six floors have been open to shoppers.

Last November, when HBC appraised all of its 89 properties, the Portage Avenue building was given a market value of $0 by real estate evaluator Cushman & Wakefield — because the costs involved in redevelopment would essentially erase its worth in a sale.

Technically, the building was worth even less than that because of a tax liability of $302,298.

The Bay’s other Winnipeg stores, at the Polo Park and St. Vital shopping centres, will remain open.

“We also remain open to working with the city and partners to find opportunities for this landmark building” downtown, Bourré said in her statement.

“While these decisions are difficult, they are the right ones for our business and reflect customer preferences,” she said, adding the company is committed to treating the store’s employees “with respect and fairness through this process.

“All eligible associates will receive appropriate employment separation packages and transfer opportunities will be explored where feasible.”

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