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The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned,
retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption ( ...

retail
business group. A
fur trading The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characte ...
business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada and the United States. It had been a member of the
International Association of Department Stores The International Association of Department Stores (IADS) is a retail trade association founded in 1928 by a group of department stores with the goal of introducing modern management methods derived from the scientific management movement to their r ...
from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, an American businessman,
Jerry Zucker Jerry G. Zucker (born March 11, 1950) is an American film producer A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working Independent film, independently, producers plan and coordinate various ...
, bought HBC for US$1.1 billion, so it is no longer a Canadian-owned company. The company sold most of its European operations by August 2019 and its remaining stores, in the Netherlands, were closed by the end of 2019. HBC owns the
Saks Fifth Avenue Saks Fifth Avenue, originally A. Saks & Co., is an American luxury department store chain, with its origins in Andrew Saks' A. Saks & Co. store opened in Washington, D.C.'s F Street shopping district in 1867. Saks' flagship store is locate ...

Saks Fifth Avenue
and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores in the United States; most other American operations were sold by mid-2019 and the last remaining stores (
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor was an American department store chain, and the oldest department store in the United States. , it had 38 stores and one outlet store. The flagship store at the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City operated from 1 ...
chain) were sold prior to the end of 2019. The company's namesake business division is Hudson's Bay, commonly referred to as The Bay ( in French). After incorporation by
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing ...

royal charter
in 1670, the company functioned as the ''de facto'' government in parts of North America for nearly 200 years until the HBC sold the land it owned (the entire
Hudson Bay drainage basin The Hudson Bay drainage basin is the drainage basin in northern North America where surface water empties into Hudson Bay and adjoining waters. Spanning an area of about , the basin is almost totally in Canada (spanning parts of the Canadian Prair ...
, known as
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
) to Canada in 1869 as part of the
Deed of Surrender The Deed of Surrender or Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory Order was an 1870 British order-in-council that transferred ownership of Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in ...
, authorized by the
Rupert's Land Act 1868 ''The Rupert's Land Act 1868''This short titleIn certain jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other Westminster-influenced jurisdictions (such as Canada or Australia), as well as the United States and the Philippines, primary legislat ...
. At its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and later British-controlled North America. By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products from furs to fine
homeware ] The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design and manufacture of objects that are both beautiful and functional. It includes most of the arts making objects for the interiors of buildings, and interior design, but not usuall ...
in a small number of sales shops (as opposed to trading posts) across Canada. These shops were the first step towards the department stores the company owns today. In 2008, HBC was acquired by
NRDC Equity PartnersNRDC may refer to: *Natural Resources Defense Council, an American environmental group *National Research Development Corporation, a UK company set up to license government research to industrial partners *NRDC Equity Partners, an American retail ho ...
, which also owned the upmarket American department store
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor was an American department store chain, and the oldest department store in the United States. , it had 38 stores and one outlet store. The flagship store at the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City operated from 1 ...
. From 2008 to 2012, the HBC was run through a holding company of NRDC,
Hudson's Bay Trading Company Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P. was an United States, American portfolio company for NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity company. Hudson's Bay Trading Company was founded in 2008. NRDC Equity Partners was founded by Robert Baker and Richard ...
, which was dissolved in early 2012. HBC's head office is currently located in
Brampton Brampton ( or ) is a city in the Canadian Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Ontario. Situated in Southern Ontario, it is a suburban city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and part of Regional Municipality of Peel, Peel Region. The c ...

Brampton
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
. Until March 2020, the company was listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX; french: Bourse de Toronto) is a stock exchange in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 201 ...

Toronto Stock Exchange
under the symbol "HBC.TO".


History


17th century

For much of the 17th century the French, based on their colony of
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
, operated a ''de facto''
monopoly A monopoly (from Greek el, μόνος, mónos, single, alone, label=none and el, πωλεῖν, pōleîn, to sell, label=none) is as described by Irving Fisher, a market with the "absence of competition", creating a situation where a specific ...

monopoly
in the North American
fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organi ...
. Two French traders,
Pierre-Esprit Radisson Pierre-Esprit Radisson (1636/1640–1710) was a French fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of bo ...

Pierre-Esprit Radisson
and Médard des Groseilliers (Médard de Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers), Radisson's brother-in-law, learned from the
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canad ...

Cree
that the best fur country lay north and west of
Lake Superior Lake Superior is the largest and northernmost of the Great Lakes of North America, and among freshwater lakes, it is the world's List of lakes by area, largest by surface area and the List of lakes by volume, third-largest by volume.The Caspian ...

Lake Superior
, and that there was a "frozen sea" still further north. Assuming this was Hudson Bay, they sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on the Bay in order to reduce the cost of moving furs overland. According to Peter C. Newman, "concerned that exploration of the Hudson Bay route might shift the focus of the fur trade away from the
St. Lawrence River The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upr ...
, the French governor", Marquis d'Argenson (in office 1658–61), "refused to grant the
coureurs des bois A coureur des bois (; ) or coureur de bois (; plural: coureurs de(s) bois) was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian trader who traveled in New France and the interior of North America, usually to trade with Indigenous peoples of the Am ...

coureurs des bois
permission to scout the distant territory". Despite this refusal, in 1659 Radisson and Groseilliers set out for the upper Great Lakes basin. A year later they returned to Montreal with premium furs, evidence of the potential of the Hudson Bay region. Subsequently, they were arrested by French authorities for trading without a license and fined, and their furs were confiscated by the government. Determined to establish trade in the Hudson Bay area, Radisson and Groseilliers approached a group of English colonial merchants in to help finance their explorations. The Bostonians agreed on the plan's merits, but their speculative voyage in 1663 failed when their ship ran into
pack ice Drift ice, Greenland Drift ice, also called brash ice, is sea ice that is not attached to the shoreline or any other fixed object (shoals, grounded icebergs, etc.).Leppäranta, M. 2011. The Drift of Sea Ice. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. Unlike fast i ...

pack ice
in
Hudson Strait Image:HBC-Upper Savage Islands-Hudson Strait.jpg, The Hudson's Bay Company ships ''Prince of Wales'' and bartering with the Inuit off the Upper Savage Islands, Hudson Strait; by Robert Hood (1819) Hudson Strait links the Atlantic Ocean and Labra ...
. Boston-based English commissioner Colonel George Cartwright learned of the expedition and brought the two to England to raise financing. Radisson and Groseilliers arrived in London in 1665 at the height of the
Great Plague The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing the ...
. Eventually, the two met and gained the sponsorship of
Prince Rupert Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, (17 December 1619 (O.S.) / 27 December (N.S) – 29 November 1682) was a German-English army officer, admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is t ...

Prince Rupert
. Prince Rupert introduced the two to his cousin, the reigning king - . In 1668 the English expedition acquired two ships, the ''Nonsuch'' and the ''Eaglet'', to explore possible trade into Hudson Bay. Groseilliers sailed on the ''Nonsuch'', commanded by Captain Zachariah Gillam, while the ''Eaglet'' was commanded by Captain William Stannard and accompanied by Radisson. On 5 June 1668, both ships left port at
Deptford Deptford is an area on the south bank of the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known a ...

Deptford
, England, but the ''Eaglet'' was forced to turn back off the coast of Ireland. The ''Nonsuch'' continued to
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
, the southern portion of Hudson Bay, where its explorers founded, in 1668, the first fort on Hudson Bay, Charles Fort at the mouth of the
Rupert River The Rupert River is one of the largest rivers in Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , ...

Rupert River
. (It later became known as "Rupert House", and developed as the community of present-day
Waskaganish Waskaganish ( cr, ᐙᔅᑳᐦᐄᑲᓂᔥ/Wâskâhîkaniš, Little House; ) is a Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are one of the largest groups of First Nations in North America. In Canada, over 35 ...
, Quebec.) Both the fort and the river were named after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, one of the major investors and soon to become the new company's first governor. After a successful trading-expedition over the winter of 1668–69, ''Nonsuch'' returned to England on 9 October 1669 with the first cargo of fur resulting from trade in Hudson Bay. The bulk of the fur – worth £1,233 – was sold to Thomas Glover, one of London's most prominent furriers. This and subsequent purchases by Glover proved the viability of the fur trade in Hudson Bay. A royal charter from King Charles II incorporated "The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay" on 2 May 1670. The charter granted the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern parts of present-day Canada. The area was named "
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
" after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the company appointed by the King. This drainage basin of Hudson Bay spans , comprising over one-third of the area of modern-day Canada, and stretches into the present-day north-central
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. The specific boundaries remained unknown at the time. Rupert's Land would eventually become Canada's largest land "purchase" in the 19th century. The HBC established six posts between 1668 and 1717. Rupert House(1668, southeast),
Moose Factory Moose Factory is a community in the Cochrane District Cochrane District is a district and Census divisions of Canada, census division in Northeastern Ontario in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. It was create ...

Moose Factory
(1673, south) and Fort Albany, Ontario (1679, west) were erected on James Bay; three other posts were established on the western shore of Hudson Bay proper:
Fort Severn Fort Severn, in present-day Annapolis, Maryland, was built in 1808 on the same site as an earlier American Revolutionary War fort of 1776. Although intended to guard Annapolis harbor from British attack during the War of 1812, it never saw act ...
(1689),
York Factory York Factory was a settlement and Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson ''CBH'') is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trade, fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now ow ...
(1684) and Fort Churchill (1717). Inland posts were not built until 1774. After 1774, York Factory became the main post because of its convenient access to the vast interior waterway-systems of the
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...

Saskatchewan
and
Red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength Image:dominant wavelength.png, frame, Dominant/complementary wavelength example on the CIE color ...

Red
rivers. Originally called "factories" because the "factor", i.e., a person acting as a mercantile agent did business from there, these posts operated in the manner of the Dutch fur-trading operations in
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
. By adoption of the Standard of Trade in the 18th century, the HBC ensured consistent pricing throughout Rupert's Land. A means of exchange arose based on the " Made Beaver" (MB); a prime pelt, worn for a year and ready for processing: "the prices of all trade goods were set in values of Made Beaver (MB) with other animal pelts, such as squirrel, otter and moose quoted in their MB (made beaver) equivalents. For example, two otter pelts might equal 1 MB". During the fall and winter,
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
men and European trappers accomplished the vast majority of the animal trapping and pelt preparation. They travelled by
canoe A canoe is a lightweight narrow vessel, typically pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel and using a single-bladed paddle A paddle is a tool used for pushin ...

canoe
and on foot to the forts to sell their pelts. In exchange they typically received popular trade-goods such as knives, kettles, beads, needles, and the Hudson's Bay point blanket. The arrival of the First Nations trappers was one of the high points of the year, met with pomp and circumstance. The highlight was very formal, an almost ritualized "Trading Ceremony" between the Chief Trader and the Captain of the aboriginal contingent who traded on their behalf. During the initial years of the fur trade, prices for items varied from post to post. The early coastal factory model of the English contrasted with the system of the French, who established an extensive system of inland posts at native villages and sent traders to live among the tribes of the region, learning their languages and often forming alliances through marriages with indigenous women. In March 1686 the French sent a raiding party under the Chevalier des Troyes more than to capture the HBC posts along James Bay. The French appointed
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (16 July 1661 – 9 July 1706) was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of the order of Saint-Louis, adventurer, privateer, trader, member of Compagnies Franches de la Marine and founder o ...
, who had shown great heroism during the raids, as commander of the company's captured posts. In 1687 an English attempt to resettle Fort Albany failed due to strategic deceptions by d'Iberville. After 1688 England and France were officially at war, and the conflict played out in North America as well. D'Iberville raided Fort Severn in 1690 but did not attempt to raid the well-defended local headquarters at York Factory. In 1693 the HBC recovered Fort Albany; d'Iberville captured York Factory in 1694, but the company recovered it the next year. In 1697 d'Iberville again commanded a French naval raid on York Factory. On the way to the fort he defeated three ships of the Royal Navy in the
Battle of Hudson's Bay The Battle of Hudson's Bay, also known as the Battle of York Factory, was a naval battle fought during the War of the Grand Alliance (known in England's North American colonies as " King William's War"). The battle took place on 5 September 169 ...
(5 September 1697), the largest naval battle in the history of the North American Arctic. D'Iberville's depleted French force captured York Factory by laying siege to the fort and pretending to be a much larger army. The French retained all of the outposts except Fort Albany until 1713. (A small French and Indian force attacked Fort Albany again in 1709 during
Queen Anne's War Queen Anne's War (1702–1713) was the second in a series of French and Indian Wars fought in North America involving the colonial empires of Great Britain, France, and Spain; it took place during the reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain Ann ...
but was unsuccessful. The economic consequences of the French possession of these posts for the company were significant; the HBC did not pay any dividends for more than 20 years. See
Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay The Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay were a series of conflicts in the 17th and 18th centuries between England and France for control over the area around the Hudson Bay Hudson Bay (Inuktitut: ''Kangiqsualuk ilua'' or ''Tasiujarjuaq'' french: ...
.


18th century

With the ending of the
Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
in 1697, and the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was an early-18th-century European war, triggered by the death in November 1700 of the childless Charles II of Spain. It established the principle that dynastic rights were secondary to maintaini ...
in 1713 with the signing of the
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized commun ...

Treaty of Utrecht
, France had made substantial concessions. Among the treaty's many provisions, it required France to relinquish all claims to Great Britain on the Hudson Bay, which again became a British possession. (The
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
had been established following the union of Scotland and England in 1707). After the treaty, the HBC built
Prince of Wales Fort The Prince of Wales Fort is a historic bastion fort on Hudson Bay across the Churchill River (Hudson Bay), Churchill River from Churchill, Manitoba, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. History The European history of this area starts with Henry Hudson ...
, a stone
star fort A star is an astronomical object In astronomy, an astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' a ...
at the mouth of the nearby Churchill River.In 1782, during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, a French squadron under
Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse (; variant spelling of his name: ''comte de La Pérouse''; 23 August 17411788?) was a French naval officer and explorer. Having enlisted at the age of 15, he had a successful naval career and in 1785 ...
captured and demolished York Factory and Prince of Wales Fort in support of the American rebels. In its trade with native peoples, Hudson's Bay Company exchanged wool blankets, called Hudson's Bay point blankets, for the beaver pelts trapped by aboriginal hunters. By 1700, point blankets accounted for more than 60 per cent of the trade. The number of
indigo InterGlobe Aviation Ltd d/b/a IndiGo is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. It is the largest List of airlines of India, airline in India by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 57% domestic market shar ...

indigo
stripes (a.k.a. points) woven into the blankets identified its finished size. A long-held misconception is that the number of stripes was related to its value in beaver pelts. A parallel may be drawn between the HBC's control over Rupert's Land with the trade monopoly and government functions enjoyed by the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
over India during roughly the same period. The HBC invested £10,000 in the East India Company in 1732, which it viewed as a major competitor. Hudson's Bay Company's first inland trading post was established by
Samuel Hearne Samuel Hearne (February 1745 – November 1792) was an English explorer, fur-trader, author, and naturalist. He was the first European to make an overland excursion across northern Canada to the Arctic Ocean, actually Coronation Gulf, via the C ...
in 1774 with
Cumberland House Cumberland House was a mansion on the south side of Pall Mall in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames ...
, Saskatchewan. Conversely, a number of inland HBC "houses" pre-date the construction of Cumberland House, in 1774. Henley House, established in 1743, inland from Hudson Bay, at the confluence of the Albany and Kabinakagami Rivers, was dependent on Albany River – Fort Albany for lines of communication, was not "finished" until 1768. Next, the inland houses of Split Lake and Nelson Houses were established between 1740 and 1760. These were dependent on York River – York Factory and Churchill River, respectively. Although not inland, Richmond Fort was established in 1749. This was on an island within Hudson Bay. It was titled a "New Discovery" in 1749, and by 1750 was titled Richmond Gulf. The name was changed to Richmond Fort and given the abbreviation RF from 1756 to 1759, it served mainly as a trade goods and provisions storage location. Additional inland posts were Capusco River and Chickney Creek, both circa 1750. Likewise, Brunswick (1776), New Brunswick (1777), Gloucester (1777), Upper Hudson (ca. 1778), Lower Hudson (1779), Rupert, and Wapiscogami Houses were established in the decade of the 1770s. These post-date Cumberland House, yet speak to the expanding inland incursion of the HBC in the last quarter of the 18th century. Minor posts also during this time period include Mesackamy/Mesagami Lake (1777), Sturgeon Lake (1778), Beaver Lake Posts. In 1779, other traders founded the
North West Company The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and t ...
(NWC) in
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
as a seasonal partnership to provide more capital and to continue competing with the HBC. It became operative for the outfit of 1780 and was the first
joint-stock company A joint-stock company is a business entity In law, a legal person is any person or 'thing' (less ambiguously, any legal entity) that can do the things a human person is usually able to do in law – such as enter into contracts, lawsuit, sue ...
in Canada and possibly North America. The agreement lasted one year. A second agreement established in 1780 had a three-year term. The company became a permanent entity in 1783. By 1784, the NWC had begun to make serious inroads into the HBC's profits.


19th century


North West Company: violent competition and merger

The
North West Company The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and t ...
(NWC) was the main rival in the fur trade. The competition led to the small
Pemmican War The Pemmican War was a series of armed confrontations during the North American fur trade#REDIRECT North American fur trade The North American fur trade, an aspect of the international fur trade, was the acquisition, trade, exchange, and sale o ...
in 1816. The
Battle of Seven Oaks The Battle of Seven Oaks was a violent confrontation in the Pemmican War The Pemmican War was a series of armed confrontations during the North American fur trade between the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and the North West Company (NWC) in the ...
on 19 June 1816 was the climax of the long dispute. In 1821, the North West Company of Montreal and Hudson's Bay Company were forcibly merged by intervention of the British government to put an end to often-violent competition. 175 posts, 68 of them the HBC's, were reduced to 52 for efficiency and because many were redundant as a result of the rivalry and were inherently unprofitable. Their combined territory was extended by a licence to the
North-Western Territory The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate ...
, which reached to the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
in the north and, with the creation of the
Columbia Department The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. Much of its territory overlapped with the disputed Oregon Country. It was explored by the North West Company be ...
in the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though no official boundary exists, the most common co ...
, to the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
in the west. The NWC's regional headquarters at Fort George (Fort Astoria) was relocated to
Fort Vancouver Fort Vancouver was a 19th-century fur trading The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in ...

Fort Vancouver
on the north bank of the Columbia River; it became the HBC base of operations on the Pacific Slope. Before the merger, the employees of the HBC, unlike those of the North West Company, did not participate in its profits. After the merger, with all operations under the management of Sir George Simpson (1826–60), the company had a corps of commissioned officers: 25 chief factors and 28 chief traders, who shared in the company's profits during the monopoly years. Its trade covered , and it had 1,500 contract employees. They also operated a store in what were then known as the Sandwich Islands (Hawai'i), engaging in merchant shipping to the islands between 1828 and 1859.


Careers

The career progression for officers, together referred to as the Commissioned Gentlemen, was to enter the company as a fur trader. Typically, they were men who had the capital to invest in starting up their trading. They sought to be promoted to the rank of Chief Trader. A Chief Trader would be in charge of an individual post and was entitled to one share of the company's profits. Chief Factors sat in council with the Governors and were the heads of districts. They were entitled to two shares of the company's profits or losses. The average income of a Chief Trader was £360 and that of a Chief Factor was £720.


Competition

Although the HBC maintained a monopoly on the fur trade during the early to mid-19th century, there was competition from James Sinclair and Andrew McDermot (Dermott), independent traders in the
Red River Colony The Red River Colony (or Selkirk Settlement) was a colonization project set up in 1811 by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, on of land. This land was granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company, which is referred to as the Selkirk Concession, wh ...

Red River Colony
. They shipped furs by the
Red River Trails The Red River Trails were a network of Red River ox cart, ox cart routes connecting the Red River Colony (the "Selkirk Settlement") and Fort Garry in Canada under British Imperial control (1764-1867), British North America with the head of navigat ...
to
Norman Kittson Norman Wolfred Kittson (March 6, 1814 – May 10, 1888) was one of early Minnesota Minnesota () is a U.S. state, state in the north central region of the United States. It is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is , Fren ...
a buyer in the United States. In addition, Americans controlled the
Maritime fur trade The maritime fur trade was a ship-based fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal, polar and ...
on the Northwest Coast until the 1830s. Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, the HBC controlled nearly all trading operations in the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though no official boundary exists, the most common co ...
, based at the company headquarters at
Fort Vancouver Fort Vancouver was a 19th-century fur trading The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in ...

Fort Vancouver
on the
Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook Upper Chinook, endonym Kiksht, also known as Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of w ...

Columbia River
.Although claims to the region were by agreement in abeyance, commercial operating rights were nominally shared by the United States and Britain through the
Anglo-American Convention of 1818 The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States and the United Kingdom, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, ...
, but company policy, enforced via Chief Factor
John McLoughlin Dr. John McLoughlin, baptized Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin, (October 19, 1784 – September 3, 1857) was a French-Canadian, later American, Chief Factor and Superintendent of the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouve ...
of the company's
Columbia District The Columbia District was a fur trading The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in th ...
, was to discourage U.S. settlement of the territory. The company's effective monopoly on trade virtually forbade any settlement in the region. It established
Fort Boise Fort Boise is either of two different locations in the Western United States, western United States, both in Southwestern Idaho, southwestern Idaho. The first was a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post near the Snake River on what is now the Ore ...
in 1834 (in present-day southwestern Idaho) to compete with the American
Fort Hall Fort Hall was a fortification, fort that was built in 1834 as a fur trading post by Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth. It was located on the Snake River in the eastern Oregon Country, now part of present-day Bannock County, Idaho, Bannock County in southeas ...
, to the east. In 1837, it purchased Fort Hall, also along the route of the
Oregon Trail The Oregon Trail was a east–west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of what is now the state of Kansas ...
. The outpost director displayed the abandoned wagons of discouraged settlers to those seeking to move west along the trail. The company's stranglehold on the region was broken by the first successful large wagon train to reach Oregon in 1843, led by
Marcus Whitman Marcus Whitman (September 4, 1802 – November 29, 1847) was an American physician and missionary. In 1836, Marcus Whitman led an overland party by wagon to the West. He and his wife, Narcissa, along with Reverend Henry Spalding and his wife, Eliz ...

Marcus Whitman
. In the years that followed, thousands of emigrants poured into the
Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley () is a long valley in Oregon Oregon () is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the List ...
of Oregon. In 1846, the United States acquired full authority south of the 49th parallel; the most settled areas of the Oregon Country were south of the
Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook Upper Chinook, endonym Kiksht, also known as Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of w ...

Columbia River
in what is now Oregon. McLoughlin, who had once turned away would-be settlers as company director, then welcomed them from his general store at
Oregon City ) , image_skyline = John McLoughlin House, Oregon City.JPG (3534603314).jpg , imagesize = , image_caption = The McLoughlin House, est. 1845 , image_flag = , image_seal = Oregon Ci ...

Oregon City
. He was later proclaimed the "Father of
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
". The company retains no presence today in the portion of the Pacific Northwest governed by the United States.


California

During the 1820s and 1830s, HBC trappers were deeply involved in the early exploration and development of
Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, its main population centers incl ...

Northern California
. Company trapping brigades were sent south from Fort Vancouver, along what became known as the
Siskiyou Trail 350px, Siskiyou Trail from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, California The Siskiyou Trail stretched from California's Central Valley to Oregon's Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley () is a long valley in Oregon Oregon () is a ...

Siskiyou Trail
, into Northern California as far south as the
San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, San Pablo Bay, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuary, estuaries in Northern California. Although the exact bou ...
, where the company operated a trading post at
Yerba Buena Yerba buena or hierba buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the Lamiaceae, mint family. ''Yerba buena'' translates as "good herb". The specific plant species regarded as ''yerba buena'' varies from regi ...
(San Francisco). These trapping brigades in Northern California faced serious risks, and were often the first to explore relatively uncharted territory. They included the lesser known
Peter Skene Ogden__NOTOC__ Peter Skene Ogden (alternately Skeene, Skein, or Skeen; baptised February 12, 1790 – September 27, 1854) was a British-Canadian fur trader and an early explorer of what is now British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , ...

Peter Skene Ogden
and Samuel Black.


Hudson's Bay Company money

Between 1820 and 1870, the HBC issued its own
paper money A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable promissory note A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a ...
. The notes, denominated in
pounds sterling The pound sterling (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP), known in some contexts simply as the pound or sterling, is the official currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the ...
, were printed in London and issued at the York Factory,
Fort Garry Fort Garry, also known as Upper Fort Garry, was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red River of the North, Red and Assiniboine River, Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on o ...
and the
Red River Colony The Red River Colony (or Selkirk Settlement) was a colonization project set up in 1811 by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, on of land. This land was granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company, which is referred to as the Selkirk Concession, wh ...

Red River Colony
. For forty or so years beginning in 1870, the company employed paddle wheel steamships on the rivers of the prairies.


End of monopoly

The Guillaume Sayer Trial in 1849 contributed to the end of the HBC monopoly. Sayer, a Métis people (Canada), Métis trapper and trader, was accused of illegal trading in furs. The Court of Assiniboia brought Sayer to trial, before a jury of HBC officials and supporters. During the trial, a crowd of armed Métis men led by Louis Riel, Sr. gathered outside the courtroom. Although Sayer was found guilty of illegal trade, having evaded the HBC monopoly, Judge Adam Thom did not levy a fine or punishment. Some accounts attributed that to the intimidating armed crowd gathered outside the courthouse. With the cry, ''Le commerce est libre! Le commerce est libre!'' ("Trade is free! Trade is free!"), the Métis loosened the HBC's previous control of the courts, which had enforced their monopoly on the settlers of Red River. Another factor was the findings of the Palliser Expedition of 1857 to 1860, led by Captain John Palliser. He surveyed the area of the prairies and wilderness from Lake Superior to the southern passes of the Rocky Mountains. Although he recommended against settlement of the region, the report sparked a debate. It ended the myth publicized by Hudson's Bay Company: that the Canadian West was unfit for agricultural settlement. In 1863, the International Financial Society bought controlling interest in the HBC, signalling a shift in the company's outlook: most of the new shareholders were less interested in the fur trade than in real estate speculation and economic development in the West. The Society floated £2 million in public shares on non-ceded land held ostensibly by the Hudson's Bay Company as an asset and leveraged this asset for collateral for these funds. These funds allowed the Society the financial means to weather the financial collapse of 1866 which destroyed many competitors and invest in railways in North America. In 1869, after rejecting the American government offer of , the company approved the return of Rupert's Land to Britain. The government gave it to Canada and loaned the new country the £300,000 required to compensate HBC for its losses. HBC also received one-twentieth of the fertile areas to be opened for settlement and retained title to the lands on which it had built trading establishments. The deal, known as the
Deed of Surrender The Deed of Surrender or Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory Order was an 1870 British order-in-council that transferred ownership of Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in ...
, came into force the following year. The resulting territory, now known as the Northwest Territories, was brought under Canadian jurisdiction under the terms of the
Rupert's Land Act 1868 ''The Rupert's Land Act 1868''This short titleIn certain jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other Westminster-influenced jurisdictions (such as Canada or Australia), as well as the United States and the Philippines, primary legislat ...
, enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Deed enabled the admission of the fifth province, Manitoba, to the Canadian Confederation, Confederation on 15 July 1870, the same day that the deed itself came into force. During the 19th century the Hudson's Bay Company went through great changes in response to such factors as growth of population and new settlements in part of its territory, and ongoing pressure from Britain. It seemed unlikely that it would continue to control the future of the West.


20th century


Department stores and diversification

The iconic department store today evolved from trading posts at the start of the 19th century, when they began to see demand for general merchandise grow rapidly. HBC soon expanded into the interior and set-up posts along river settlements that later developed into the modern cities of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. In 1857, the first sales shop was established in Fort Langley. This was followed by other sales shops in Victoria, British Columbia, Fort Victoria (1859), Winnipeg (1881), Calgary (1884), Vancouver (1887), Vernon, British Columbia, Vernon (1887), Edmonton (1890), Yorkton (1898), and Nelson, British Columbia, Nelson (1902). The first of the grand "original six" department stores was built in Calgary in 1913. The other department stores that followed were in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. The First World War interrupted a major remodelling and restoration of retail trade shops planned in 1912. Following the war, the company revitalized its fur-trade and real-estate activities, and diversified its operations by venturing into the oil business. Today, the department store business is the only remaining part of the company's operations, in the form of department stores under the Hudson's Bay brand.


Oil and gas operations

The company co-founded Hudson's Bay Oil and Gas Company (HBOG) in 1926 with Marland Oil Company (which merged with Conoco in 1929). HBOG expanded during the 1940s and 1950s, and in 1960 began shipping Canadian crude through a new link to the Glacier pipeline and on to the refinery in Billings, Montana. The company became the sixth-largest Canadian oil producer in 1967. In 1973, HBOG acquired a 35 per cent stake in Siebens Oil and Gas, and, in 1979, it divested that interest. In 1980, it bought a controlling interest in Roxy Petroleum. In the 1980s, sales and oil prices slipped, while debt from acquisitions piled up which led to Hudson's Bay Company selling its 10.1 per cent stake in HBOG to Dome Petroleum in 1981.


Indigenous health

During his 1927 Arctic trip with A. Y. Jackson, discoverer of insulin Frederick Banting realized that crew or passengers on board the HBC paddle wheeler SS ''Distributor'' were responsible for spreading the influenza virus down the Slave River and Mackenzie River, a virus that had over the summer and autumn spread territory-wide, devastating the aboriginal population of the north. Returning from the trip, Banting gave an interview in Montreal with a ''Toronto Star'' reporter under the agreement that his statements on HBC would remain off the record. The conversation was nonetheless published in the ''Toronto Star'' and rapidly reached a wide audience across Europe and Australia. Banting was angry at the leak, having promised the Department of the Interior not to make any statements to the press prior to clearing them. The article noted that Banting had given the journalist C. R. Greenaway repeated instances of how the fox fur trade always favoured the company: "For over $100,000 of fox skins, he estimated that the Eskimos had not received $5,000 worth of goods." He traced this treatment to health, consistent with reports made in previous years by RCMP officers, suggesting that "the result was a diet of "flour, biscuits, tea and tobacco," with the skins that once were used for clothing traded merely for "cheap whiteman's goods."" The HBC fur trade commissioner called Banting's remarks "false and slanderous", and a month later, the governor and general manager met Banting at the The Omni King Edward Hotel, King Edward Hotel to demand a retraction. Banting stated that the reporter had betrayed his confidence, but did not retract his statement and reaffirmed that HBC was responsible for the death of indigenous residents by supplying the wrong kind of food and introducing diseases into the Arctic. As A. Y. Jackson notes in his memoir, since neither the governor nor the general manager had been to the Arctic, the meeting ended with them asking Banting's advice on what HBC ought to do: "He gave them some good advice and later he received a card at Christmas with the Governor's best wishes." Banting maintained this position in his report to the Department of the Interior:
He noted that "infant mortality was high because of the undernourishment of the mother before birth"; that "white man’s food leads to decay of native teeth"; that "tuberculosis has commenced. Saw several cases at Godhavn, Etah, Port Burwell, Arctic Bay"; that "an epidemic resembling influenza killed a considerable proportion of population at Port Burwell"; and that "the gravest danger faces the Eskimo in his transfer from a race-long hunter to a dependent trapper. White flour, sea-biscuits, tea and tobacco do not provide sufficient fuel to warm and nourish him". Furthermore, he discouraged the establishment of an Arctic hospital. The "proposed hospital at Pangnirtung would be a waste of money, as it could be reached by only a few natives". Banting's report contrasted starkly with the bland descriptions provided by the ship's physician, F. H. Stringer.


Retail expansion

In 1960, the company acquired Morgan's allowing it to expand into Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa. In 1965, HBC rebranded its department stores as The Bay. The Morgan's logo was changed to match the new visual identity. By 1972 the last of the former Morgan's stores had been rebranded to Bay stores. In 1970, on the company's 300th anniversary, as a result of punishing new British tax laws, the company relocated to Canada, and was rechartered as a Canadian business corporation under Canadian law, Head Office functions were transferred from London to Winnipeg. By 1974, as the company expanded into eastern Canada, head office functions were moved to Toronto. In 1972, the company acquired the four-store Shop-Rite (Canada), Shop-Rite chain of catalog merchant, catalogue stores. The chain was quickly expanded to 65 stores in Ontario, but closed in 1982 due to declining sales. In these stores, little merchandise was displayed; customers made their selections from catalogues, and staff would retrieve the merchandise from storerooms. The HBC also acquired Freimans department stores in Ottawa and converted them to The Bay. In 1978, the Zellers discount store chain made a bid to acquire the HBC, but the HBC turned the tables and acquired Zellers. Also in 1978, Simpsons (department store), Simpson's department stores were acquired by Hudson's Bay Company, and were converted to Bay stores in 1991. (The related chain Simpsons-Sears was not acquired by the Bay, but became Sears Canada in 1978.) In 1991, Simpsons disappeared, when the last Simpsons store was converted to the Bay banner. In 1979, Canadian billionaire Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet, Kenneth Thomson won control of the company in a battle with George Weston Limited, and acquired a 75 per cent stake for $400 million. Thomson sold the company's oil and gas business, financial services, distillery, and other interests for approximately $550 million, transforming the company into a leaner, more focused operation. In 1997, the Thomson family sold the last of its remaining shares. Hudson's Bay Company reversed a formidable debt problem in 1987, by shedding non-strategic assets such as its wholesale division and getting completely out of the oil and gas business. HBC also sold its Canadian fur-auction business to Hudson's Bay Fur Sales Canada (now North American Fur Auctions). The Northern Stores Division was sold that same year to a group of investors and employees, which adopted The North West Company name three years later. The HBC acquired Towers Department Stores in 1990, combining them with the Zellers chain, and Woodward's stores in 1993, converting them into Bay or Zellers stores. Kmart#Canada, Europe, Mexico and Australia stores, Kmart Canada was acquired in 1998 and merged with Zellers. In 1991, the Bay agreed to stop retailing fur in response to complaints from people opposed to killing animals for this purpose. In 1997, the Bay reopened its fur salons to meet the demand of consumers.


21st century

In December 2003, Maple Leaf Heritage Investments, a Nova Scotia-based company created to acquire shares of Hudson's Bay Company, announced that it was considering making an offer to acquire all or some of the common shares of Hudson's Bay Company. Maple Leaf Heritage Investments is a subsidiary of B-Bay Inc. Its CEO and chairman is American businesswoman Anita Zucker, widow of
Jerry Zucker Jerry G. Zucker (born March 11, 1950) is an American film producer A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working Independent film, independently, producers plan and coordinate various ...
. Zucker had previously been the head of the Polymer Group, which acquired another Canadian institution, Dominion Textile. On 26 January 2006, the HBC's board unanimously agreed to a bid of /share from Jerry Zucker, whose original bid was /share, ending a prolonged fight between the HBC and Zucker. The South Carolina billionaire financier was a longtime HBC minority shareholder. In a 9 March 2006 press release, the HBC announced that Zucker would replace Yves Fortier (lawyer), Yves Fortier as governor and George Heller as CEO, becoming the first US citizen to lead the company. After Jerry Zucker's death, the board named his widow, Anita Zucker, as HBC Governor and HBC Deputy-Governor Rob Johnston as CEO. On 16 July 2008, the company was sold to
NRDC Equity PartnersNRDC may refer to: *Natural Resources Defense Council, an American environmental group *National Research Development Corporation, a UK company set up to license government research to industrial partners *NRDC Equity Partners, an American retail ho ...
, a private equity firm based in Purchase, New York, which already owned
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor was an American department store chain, and the oldest department store in the United States. , it had 38 stores and one outlet store. The flagship store at the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City operated from 1 ...
, the oldest luxury department store chain in the United States. The Canadian and U.S. holdings were transferred to NRDC Equity Partners' holding company,
Hudson's Bay Trading Company Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P. was an United States, American portfolio company for NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity company. Hudson's Bay Trading Company was founded in 2008. NRDC Equity Partners was founded by Robert Baker and Richard ...
, as of late 2008. In June 2019, a consortium including chairman Richard A. Baker (businessman), Richard Baker, Rhône Group, WeWork, Hanover Investments (Luxembourg) and Abrams Capital Management announced that it wanted to take the company private. The group then owned just over 50 per cent of HBC shares. In mid-August, the consortium said that it owned 57 per cent of the HBC shares. By 19 August 2019, however, Canadian investment firm Newton Glassman, Catalyst Capital Group Inc. said it had acquired enough shares to block the plan. A U.S. company, Land & Buildings Investment Management, the owner of over 6 per cent of the shares, had also criticized the Baker plan.


Zellers stores

In September 2011, the HBC began downsizing the Zellers chain with the announcement that it would sell the majority of the leases for its locations to the U.S.-based retailer Target Corporation and close all of their remaining locations by early 2013. Target used the acquisition of this real estate as a means to enable its entry in the Canadian market. HBC used the proceeds to allow it to pay down debt and to invest in growing its Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor banners. In January 2013, it was confirmed that three former Zellers locations, re-purposed as liquidation centers for The Bay and Home Outfitters, would remain open under the banner name. By September 2019, the re-purposed Toronto and Ottawa Zellers locations were still operating as liquidation centres but the company closed both in late January 2020.


Lord & Taylor stores

On 24 January 2012, the ''Financial Post'' reported that Richard Baker (owner of NDRC and governor of Hudson's Bay Company) had dissolved
Hudson's Bay Trading Company Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P. was an United States, American portfolio company for NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity company. Hudson's Bay Trading Company was founded in 2008. NRDC Equity Partners was founded by Robert Baker and Richard ...
and that the HBC would now also operate the
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor was an American department store chain, and the oldest department store in the United States. , it had 38 stores and one outlet store. The flagship store at the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City operated from 1 ...
chain. At the time, the company was run by president Bonnie Brooks. Baker remained governor and CEO of the business, and Donald Watros stayed on as chief operating officer. In 2018, HBC sold the building that housed its flagship
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor was an American department store chain, and the oldest department store in the United States. , it had 38 stores and one outlet store. The flagship store at the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City operated from 1 ...
store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to WeWork Property Advisors after pressure from Land & Buildings Investment Management. The deal also included the use of floors of certain HBC-owned department stores in New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Germany as WeWork's shared office workspaces. In August 2019, HBC announced that it would sell their Lord & Taylor business to Le Tote Inc., which was to pay in cash when the deal closes (probably before year end 2019) and an additional two years later. HBC was to get a 25 per cent equity stake in Le Tote. The buyer would retain the stores' inventory, with an estimated value of . The deal, expected to close before year end, required HBC to pay the stores' rent for at least three years, leading one news report to describe it as "Not a clean exit". The liability to HBC for the rents was estimated at cash per year.


2012 initial public offering

In October 2012, the HBC announced a $1.6 billion initial public offering (IPO); Baker planned to use the IPO to allow Canadian ownership to return to the company, and to help pay off debts with other partners. Additionally, the company also announced that it would re-brand The Bay department store chain as "Hudson's Bay".


Other chains

From 2004 to 2008, the HBC owned and operated a small chain of off-price stores called Designer Depot. Similar to the Winners and HomeSense retail format, Designer Depot did not meet sales expectations, and its nine stores were sold. Another HBC chain, Fields (department store), Fields, was sold to a private firm in 2012. Established in 1950, Fields was acquired by Zellers in 1976. When Zellers was acquired by HBC in 1978, Fields became part of the HBC portfolio. Zellers was still owned by HBC but had been reduced to a chain of two liquidation stores following the sale of its lease portfolio to Target Canada in 2011. The Target Canada chain folded in 2015; the leases were subsequently returned to landlords or re-sold to other retailers. In early 2019, HBC announced that it would close all 37 of the Home Outfitters stores by year end.


2013 re-branding

The new Hudson's Bay brand was launched in March 2013, incorporating a new logo with an updated rendition of the classic Hudson's Bay Company coat of arms, designed to be modern and better reflect the company's heritage. Following the IPO, HBC had also introduced a new corporate logo of its own (reviving a wordmark from the original Flag of the Hudson's Bay Company, HBC flag), but the new logo was not intended to be a consumer-facing brand.


Purchase of Saks, Inc.

On 29 July 2013, Hudson's Bay Company announced that it would buy Saks, Inc., operator of the U.S.
Saks Fifth Avenue Saks Fifth Avenue, originally A. Saks & Co., is an American luxury department store chain, with its origins in Andrew Saks' A. Saks & Co. store opened in Washington, D.C.'s F Street shopping district in 1867. Saks' flagship store is locate ...

Saks Fifth Avenue
brand, for United States dollar, US$2.9 billion, or $16 per share. The merger was completed on 3 November 2013. The company also stated that as a result of the purchase, Canadian consumers would see Saks stores arriving in their country soon. After the purchase was finalized, HBC had a net loss of $124.2 million in the 2013 3Q due to the cost of the purchase and promotions. In late February 2019, HBC announced that it would close 20 of the 133 Saks stores and that all of the remaining locations would be "subject to review".


Gilt Groupe

In January 2016, HBC announced it would expand deeper into digital space with the acquisition of an e-commerce, online flash sales site, the Gilt Groupe, for US$250 million. In June 2018, HBC announced it would sell Gilt Groupe to online fashion store Rue La La for an undisclosed sum.


Considered purchases

In early 2017, the Hudson's Bay Company made an overture to Macy's for a potential takeover of the struggling department store. Later, HBC also considered a purchase of the struggling Neiman Marcus Group Inc. It did not proceed with either deal.


European operations

As of November 2017, the company also had retail operations in Europe, including 20 Hudson's Bay stores in the Netherlands and five Saks Off Fifth stores in Germany, as well as the 135 stores of the Galeria Kaufhof department store chain in Germany. HBC had announced its expansion into the Netherlands in May 2016 with the takeover of 20 former Vroom & Dreesmann (V&D) sites by 2017. V&D, a historic Dutch department store chain, had gone bankrupt and shut down in early 2016. HBC had acquired the German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof and its Belgian subsidiary from Metro Group in September 2015 for . On 1 November 2017, HBC received an unsolicited offer from Austrian firm Signa Holding for Kaufhof and other real estate. An unnamed source told CNBC that the value of the offer was approximately 3 billion euros. This information on the offer was also reiterated in a press release by activist shareholder Land & Buildings Investment Management, which urged HBC to accept the offer; the company replied that the offer was incomplete and did not provide indication of financing for the deal. In late 2018, Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt merged as part of a spin off.Hudson's Bay, Signa form European retail, real estate joint venture
Reuters on 11 September
HBC announced its intent to sell the last 49.99 percent of Galeria Kaufhof shares it held to Austrian firm Signa Holding in June 2019. The sale of the real estate in Germany had gained US$1.5 billion (€1 billion) for HBC. At that time, HBC still had a retail operation in the Netherlands, using the Vroom & Dreesmann locations it had purchased in 2017. On 31 August 2019, the company announced that all 15 of those stores would close by year end, the final chapter of HBC's "ill-fated European venture", according to Bloomberg News.


Hack of confidential data

On 1 April 2018, HBC disclosed that more than five million credit and debit cards used for in-store purchases had been recently breached by hackers. The compromised credit card transactions took place at Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Lord & Taylor stores. The hack had been discovered by Gemini Advisory, which called the breach "amongst the biggest and most damaging to ever hit retail companies". A July 2019 hack of Capital One, which provides HBC Mastercards, did not impact the HBC credit cards or card applications, according to HBC.


Moving forward

By early September 2019, it was clear that HBC was downsizing its operations, with the planned sale of Lord & Taylor the most recent step. A feature article by Bloomberg News mentioned that CEO Helena Foulkes, recruited in 2018, "had helped to turn around Hudson's Bay". She was closing stores and selling assets "to put the company on more solid financial footing" and could then "focus on the two remaining 'crown jewels' in her portfolio: Saks Fifth Avenue and the Bay". On the other hand, Bloomberg suggested that millennial shoppers prefer to make purchases online, or direct from various brands' own stores, and that HBC "has yet to offer something they can't find somewhere else and risks drifting into irrelevance". In February 2020, shareholders of the company voted in favour of a plan to become a private company at a special meeting of shareholders. Under the plan of arrangement, the company will be owned by a group of continuing shareholders led by HBC governor and executive chairman Richard Baker. Effective 3 March 2020, the company was delisted from the
Toronto Stock Exchange The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX; french: Bourse de Toronto) is a stock exchange in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 201 ...

Toronto Stock Exchange
, with Richard A. Baker (businessman), Richard A. Baker replacing Foulkes as CEO.


Operations

The HBC is diversified into joint ventures and other types of business products. The HBC has credit card, mortgage, and personal insurance branches. These other products and services are joint partnerships with other corporations. The HBC also has other Hudson's Bay Rewards, HBC Rewards corporate partners such as: Imperial Oil/Esso, M&M Meat Shops, Chapters (bookstore), Chapters/Indigo Books and Music, Indigo Books, Kelsey's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill, Kelsey's/Montana's Cookhouse, Montana's Restaurants, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Thrifty Car Rental, Cineplex Entertainment Theatres, etc. HBC Rewards points can be redeemed in house or into corporate partners' gift cards and certificates. Points can also be converted to Air Miles. The HBC is involved in community and charity activities. The HBC Rewards Community Program raises funds for community causes. The HBC Foundation is a charity agency involved in social issues and service. The HBC used to sponsor the annual HBC Run for Canada, a series of public-participation runs and walks held across the country on Canada Day to raise funds for Canadian athletes. The company discontinued this event in 2009.


Olympic outfitter

The HBC was the official outfitter of clothing for members of the Canadian Olympic team in 1936, 1960, 1964, 1968, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The sponsorship has been renewed through 2020. Since the late 2000s, HBC has used its status as the official Canadian Olympics team outfitter to gain global exposure, as part of a turnaround plan that included shedding under-performing brands and luring new high-end brands. On 2 March 2005, the company was announced as the new clothing outfitter for the Canadian Olympic team, in a $100 million deal, providing apparel for the 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 Games, having outbid the existing Canadian Olympic wear-supplier, Roots Canada, which had supplied Canada's Olympic teams from 1998 to 2004. The Canadian Olympic collection is sold through Hudson's Bay (and Zellers until 2013 when the Zellers leases were sold to Target Canada). HBC's 2006 Winter Olympics, 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics uniforms and toques received a mixed reception for their multicoloured stripes (green, red, yellow, blue) which seemed to be not-so-subtle advertising for HBC rather than representing the Canadian Olympic team's traditional colours of red and white (with black as a secondary), in contrast to well-received Root's 1998 collection with its trendy red letter jackets and Poor Boy caps. HBC produced 80 per cent to 90 per cent of their Olympic clothes in China which was criticized, as Roots ensured that the Olympic clothes were made in Canada using Canadian material. HBC's apparel for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver proved to be extremely successful, in part because Canada was the host country and their athletes had a record medal haul. The "Red Mittens" (red-and-white mittens featuring a large maple leaf) that were sold for , with one-third of the proceeds going to the Canadian Olympic Committee, proved very popular, as were the "Canada" hoodies. The HBC's 2010 Winter Olympics apparel was also controversial due to a knitted, machine-made sweater that looked like a Cowichan knitting, Cowichan sweater. After a meeting between HBC representatives and Cowichan Tribes, a compromise was made between the parties; knitters would have an opportunity to sell their sweaters at the downtown Vancouver HBC store, alongside the HBC imitations. Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 2012 London Olympic Games Organizing Committee, who attended the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver Olympics, noted that the Canadians were passionate in embracing the Games with their "Canada" hoodies and their red mittens (of which 2.6 million pairs sold that year). HBC has continued to produce these red mittens for subsequent Olympic Games.


Archives

The legacy of the HBC has been maintained in part by the detailed record-keeping and archiving of material by the company. Before 1974, the records of the HBC were kept in the London office headquarters. The HBC opened an archives department to researchers in 1931. In 1974, Hudson's Bay Company Archives (HBCA) were transferred from London and placed on deposit with the Manitoba archives in Winnipeg. The company granted public access to the collection the following year. On 27 January 1994, the company's archives were formally donated to the Archives of Manitoba. At the time of the donation, the appraised value of the records was nearly $60 million. A foundation, Hudson's Bay Company History Foundation funded through the tax savings resulting from the donation, was established to support the operations of the HBC Archive as a division of the Archives of Manitoba, along with other activities and programs. More than of filed documents and hundreds of microfilm reels are now stored in a special climate-controlled vault in the Manitoba Archives Building. In 2007, Hudson's Bay Company Archives became part of the United Nations "Memory of the World Programme" project, under UNESCO. The records covered the HBC history from the founding of the company in 1670. The records contained business transactions, medical records, personal journals of officials, inventories, company reports, etc.


Corporate governance

, the members of the board of directors of Hudson's Bay Company are: * Richard A. Baker (businessman), Richard A. Baker * Robert C. Baker * Eric Gross * Steven Langman * David G. Leith * William L. Mack * Lee S. Neibart * Denise Pickett * Wayne Pommen * Earl Rotman * Matthew Rubel * Andrea Wong


Corporate hierarchy

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Hudson's Bay Company operated with a very rigid hierarchy when it came to its employees. This hierarchy essentially broke down into two levels; the officers and the servants. Comprising the officers were the factors, masters and chief traders, clerks and surgeons. The servants were the tradesmen, boatmen, and labourers. The officers essentially ran the fur trading posts. They had many duties which included supervising the workers in their trade posts, valuing the furs, and keeping trade and post records. In 1821, when Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company merged, the hierarchy became even stricter and the lines between officers and servants became virtually impossible to cross. Officers in charge of individual trading posts had much responsibility because they were directly in charge of enforcing the policies made by the governor and committee (the board) of the company. One of these policies was the price of particular furs and trade goods. These prices were called the Official and Comparative Standards. Made Beaver, Made-Beaver, the quality measurement of the pelt, was the means of exchange used by Hudson's Bay Company to define the Official and Comparative Standards. Because the governor was stationed in London, England, they needed to have reliable officers managing the trade posts halfway around the world. Because the fur trade was a very dynamic market, HBC needed to have some form of flexibility when dealing with prices and traders. Price fluctuation was deferred to the officers in charge of the trade posts, and the head office recorded any difference between the company's standard and that set by the individual officers. Overplus, or any excess revenue gained by officers was strictly documented to insure that it wasn't being pocketed and taken from the company. This strict yet flexible hierarchy exemplifies how Hudson's Bay Company was able to be so successful while still having its central management and trade posts located so far apart. ;Hierarchichal order pre-1821 ;Hierarchical order 1821–1871


Governors

Chronological list of Governors of the Hudson's Bay Company: # 1670–82  Prince Rupert of the Rhine # 1683–85  James II of England, James Stuart, Duke of York – resigned as governor to become James II, King of England. # 1685–92  John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough # 1692–96  Sir Stephen Evance # 1696–1700  Sir William Trumbull # 1700–12  Sir Stephen Evance # 1712–43  Sir Bibye Lake # 1744–46  Benjamin Pitt # 1746–50  Thomas Knapp # 1750–60  Lake baronets, Sir Atwell Lake # 1760–70  William Baker (British politician), Sir William Baker # 1770–82  Sir Bibye Lake, Jr. # 1782–99  Samuel Wegg # 1799–1807  Sir James Winter Lake # 1807–12  William Mainwaring # 1812–22  Joseph Berens # 1822–52  Sir John Pelly, 1st Baronet, Sir John Henry Pelly in 1826, Simpson becomes governor of the Canadian region. # 1852–56  Andrew Wedderburn Colvile # 1856–58  John Shepherd (governor and chairman), John Shepherd # 1858–63  Henry Hulse Berens # 1863–68  Sir Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8th Baronet, Edmund Walker Head # 1868–69  John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley # 1869–74  Sir Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh, Stafford Henry Northcote # 1874–80  George Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen, George Joachim Goschen # 1880–89  Eden Colvile # 1889–1914  Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, Donald Alexander Smith # 1914–15  Sir Thomas Skinner # 1916–25  Robert Kindersley, 1st Baron Kindersley, Sir Robert Molesworth Kindersley # 1925–31  Charles Vincent Sale # 1931–52  Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper – first governor to visit HBC operations in Canada. # 1952–65  Tony Keswick, William "Tony" Keswick # 1965–70  Derick Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Viscount Amory, Derick Heathcoat-Amory # 1970–82  George T. Richardson # 1982–94  Donald S. McGiverin # 1994–97  David E. Mitchell # 1997–2006  Yves Fortier (lawyer), L. Yves Fortier # 2006–08 
Jerry Zucker Jerry G. Zucker (born March 11, 1950) is an American film producer A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working Independent film, independently, producers plan and coordinate various ...
# 2008  Anita Zucker – first female governor. # 2008–present  Richard A. Baker (businessman), Richard Baker


Miscellany


Rent obligation under charter

Under the charter establishing Hudson's Bay Company, the company was required to give two elk skins and two black beaver pelts to the English king, then Charles II, or his heirs, whenever the monarch visited Rupert's Land. The exact text from the 1670 Charter reads: The ceremony was first conducted with the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII) in 1927, then with King George VI in 1939, and last with his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II in 1959 and 1970. On the last such visit, the pelts were given in the form of two live beavers, which the Queen donated to the Winnipeg Zoo in Assiniboine Park. However, when the company permanently moved its headquarters to Canada, the Charter was amended to remove the rent obligation. Each of the four "rent ceremonies" took place in or around Winnipeg.


HBC explorers, builders, and associates

* James Knight (explorer), James Knight (c. 1640 – c. 1721) was a director of Hudson's Bay Company and an explorer who died in an expedition to the Northwest Passage. * Henry Kelsey (c. 1667 – 1 November 1724), a.k.a. the Boy Kelsey, was an English fur trader, explorer, and sailor who played an important role in establishing Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. In 1690, Henry Kelsey embarked on a 2-year exploration journey that made him the first white man to see buffalo. * Thanadelthur (c. 1697 – 5 February 1717) was a woman of the Chipewyan nation who served as a guide and interpreter for Hudson's Bay Company. *
Samuel Hearne Samuel Hearne (February 1745 – November 1792) was an English explorer, fur-trader, author, and naturalist. He was the first European to make an overland excursion across northern Canada to the Arctic Ocean, actually Coronation Gulf, via the C ...
(1745–92) was an English explorer, fur-trader, author, and naturalist. In 1774, Hearne built Cumberland House for the Hudson's Bay Company, its first interior trading post and the first permanent settlement in present Saskatchewan. * David Thompson (explorer), David Thompson (30 April 1770 – 10 February 1857) was a British-Canadian fur trader that worked for both the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Trading Company. He is best known for his extensive explorations and map-making activities. He mapped almost half of North America between the 46th and 60th parallels, from the St.Lawrence and Great Lakes all the way to the Pacific. * Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, Thomas Douglas, Lord Selkirk (20 June 1771 – 8 April 1820) was a Scottish peer. He was a Scottish philanthropist who, as HBC's majority shareholder, arranged to purchase land at Red River to establish a colony for dispossessed Scottish immigrants. * Isobel Gunn or Isabella Gunn (c. 1780 – 7 November 1861), also known as John Fubbister or Mary Fubbister, was a Scottish labourer employed by Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), noted for having passed herself as a man, thereby becoming the first European woman to travel to Rupert's Land, now part of Western Canada. * George Simpson (administrator), George Simpson (1787 – 7 September 1860) was the Canadian governor of Hudson's Bay Company during the period of its greatest power, a period which began in 1821 following the company's merger with the North West Trading Company. * John McLean (explorer), John McLean (c. 1799– 8 September 1890), a Scoto-Canadian trapper and trader who successfully crossed the entire Labrador Peninsula, opening up an overland route between Fort Smith, Labrador, Fort Smith on Lake Melville and Fort Chimo on Ungava Bay; first European to discover Churchill Falls on the Churchill River (Atlantic), Churchill River. * Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (6 August 1820 – 21 January 1914), at various times Chief Factor of the Labrador district, Commissioner of the Montreal district, and President of the Council of the Northern Department, who pacified Louis Riel during the Red River Rebellion of 1870, thus enabling the transfer of
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
from the HBC to the fledgling government of Canada. Later, he became Governor of the HBC. * John Rae (explorer), Dr. John Rae (Inuktitut Aglooka ᐊᒡᓘᑲ English: "long strider") (30 September 1813 – 22 July 1893) was a Scottish doctor who explored Northern Canada, surveyed parts of the Northwest Passage and reported the fate of the Franklin Expedition. * William Keswick (15 April 1834 – 9 March 1912) and grandson Keswick family#Sir William Johnstone "Tony" Keswick (1903–1990), Sir William Johnstone Keswick (1903–90) served at HBC; the former as a director and later as governor from 1952 to 1965. The Keswick family are the Scottish business dynasty that controls Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson, one of the original British trading houses or Hongs in British Hong Kong.


HBC sternwheelers and steamships

* ''Beaver (steamship), Beaver'' (1835–74) * ''Otter'' (1852–95) * ''Anson Northup'' (1859–60) * ''Caledonia'' (1891–98) – She ran aground on rocks at Port Simpson during a storm and her hull was destroyed. Her engines were put into the ''Caledonia 2'' * ''Caledonia (2)'' (1898–1909) – Her machinery was from the ''Caledonia 1'' * ''Mount Royal (sternwheeler), Mount Royal'' (1902–07) * ''Princess Louise (sidewheeler), Princess Louise'' (1878–83) * ''Strathcona (sternwheeler), Strathcona'' (1900) * ''Port Simpson'' (1907–12) * ''Hazelton (sternwheeler), Hazelton'' (1907–12) * ''Distributor'' (1920–48)


Rivals

The HBC is the only European trading company to have survived and outlived all its rivals.


See also

* Beaver hat * British colonization of the Americas * Frontier (2016 TV series), ''Frontier'' (2016 TV series) * Home Outfitters * Hudson's Bay Company vessels * Hudson's Bay point blanket * Hudson's Bay tokens * James Douglas (governor) * List of department stores by country#Canada, List of department stores by country § Canada * List of Hudson's Bay Company brands * List of Hudson's Bay Company trading posts * List of trading companies * New Caledonia (Canada) * North-West Rebellion *


References


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * * – 2011 reprint: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * – 1983 edition: * * * * – Also:


External links

*
HBC Heritage website


* * * [http://digital.lib.washington.edu/findingaids/view?docId=WorkJohn4981.xml John Work Papers.] 1823–62. 0.42 cubic feet (1 box). At th
Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.
Contains records from Work's service as an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company at various company settlements, including Fort Vancouver, Fort Colvile, Spokane House, Fort Simpson, Fort Nisqually, and Fort Victoria.
Hudson's Bay Company papers at the University of Oregon

''The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Company''

The Canadian Encyclopedia, The Hudson's Bay Company

H. Bullock-Webster fonds
– An artistic rendition of the Canadian fur trade, from the UBC Library Digital Collections, depicting social life, activities and customs in Hudson's Bay Company posts in the 19th Century
Elizabeth F. Washburn Journal on her experiences on board the Hudson's Bay Company's supply ship "Rupertsland"
at Dartmouth College Library * {{Authority control Hudson's Bay Company, 1670 establishments in England 2008 mergers and acquisitions 2012 initial public offerings 2020 mergers and acquisitions British colonization of the Americas Canadian brands Canadian folklore Chartered companies Clothing retailers of Canada Companies based in Brampton Retail companies established in 1670 Companies formerly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange Economic history of Canada English colonization of the Americas Fur trade History of the Pacific Northwest History of the Rocky Mountains Multinational companies headquartered in Canada Oregon Country Private equity portfolio companies Trading companies of England Trading companies of Canada Trading companies established in the 17th century Pemmican War