Exploring the Hudson's Bay Company

By: Khalisah Ahamat, LIST Student

On August 9, the Leaders in Service Training program participants took a trip to the Hudson’s Bay at Eaton’s Centre.

We were introduced to Richard J. Montgomery, who is the general manager and vice president of HBC, and his assistant Grace. Richard generously offered to take us on a tour throughout Hudson’s Bay. The Eaton’s Centre Hudson’s Bay consisted of eight different levels. The first floor we visited was the floor with the 2016 Olympic clothing and the Heritage of Hudson’s Bay. We learned that the Canadian Olympic team got their Olympic clothing from Hudson’s Bay.

We also learned that between 3-6 beaver pelts were traded in order to get blankets. This was an interesting fact because it showed some of the heritage of Hudson’s Bay, as well as how the trading process took place. We were also taken through the back room. Sounds like an ordinary room, but it is where all the online orders are gathered, all the product transfers occur, and the products are packed for delivery. In the back room hundreds of items are being packed per day, which is interesting.

We visited the VIP room, and it does look as cool as it sounds! The VIP room is designed for all the delegates, celebrities and anyone who would draw attention to themselves. It is a way for VIP people to shop with privacy. The VIP room has personal change rooms, a kitchen (with complimentary lunch), makeup studio, and overall a fancy shopping area. Fun fact: we were standing in the same room as Madonna!

The last part of the tour was through the bridal registry and Kleinfeld. For the bridal registry, we viewed the impressive technology, which kept track of what the couple purchased, what they still want or need to purchase, and their budgeting system. The bridal registry led us to Kleinfeld. Where do I begin to talk about Kleinfeld? To get in to Kleinfeld, you need to book appointments, but since we were part of the tour, we got special access to go in.  We viewed all the incredible, gorgeous dresses and the wonderful staff and the nice setting. Kleinfeld is the location for the hit TV show Say Yes to the Dress.

Overall, our trip to the Bay was a great experience and I appreciate the gifts and the chance to view almost everything. 

New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.