Sunday 8 February 2009

How do you solve a problem like the Bay

While we're on the topic of fur trading ... I haven't seen the balance sheets for The Bay, but we all know the downtown Winnipeg store is in terrible shape and I suspect the organization as a whole is struggling as well. I think this store needs to re-define itself.

We could start with the logo. First, get rid of the old "the Bay" logo. It's tired and old, just like the store. Plus, if you squint or are stoned, the stylized "B" looks like a cursive "G". The newer Hbc logo isn't bad, but I don't think they hit the mark with that either. They need to simplify it and freshen it up. Make it modern, but include a nod to the history of the company with the old Hudson Bay Co. colours. Maybe something like this:

The new logo is needed because the entire store has to change and modernize. First: stop selling everything under the sun. If you don't make any money off stereos and furniture, then stop selling stereos and furniture. Or sell furniture that people want to buy. Modern stuff that a new generation of people might want to put in their department. Learn from Ikea.

It's not just the furniture department that is stuck in the last century, but the clothes department too. Here's a fact for you: I am just over 6 feet tall, and I cannot buy pants at the Bay. There is not one damn pair of pants in the whole God damned store that fits me. Am I a freak or something? If your inseam is more than 32" you're shit out of luck at the Bay, even if you're shopping for dress pants ... unless you have a 40"waste, then there might be a couple pairs for you. I guess the fat old farts who run the place still think that moms chain smoke when they're pregnant, just like back in their day. Haven't they noticed that 80% of the kids coming out of high school now are over 6' tall? They need to sell clothes for stylish young people (not that I'm one of those) before their demographic dies off.

On my recent travels, I was traveling with my wife which meant that I was frequently in department stores. And you know what? Other stores sell clothes that fit me! Wow, I'm not a freak after all! I would love to see the Bay replace it's entire dated inventory with stock from some of these stores instead of catering to old men and gluttonous couch potatoes.* I'm thinking of stores like Zara, Springfield and Celio. Zara not only sells shirts in small med and large, but in reg slim and super slim. I bought a super slim tee shirt as a snug layer for under other shirts. I feel like a body builder when I wear it. Yeah baby, look at those muscles!

Anyhow, the bottom line is: The Bay has moved on from the days when it sold fire water and beaver pelts, and it's time to move on again.

*no offense to those of you who shop there. I actually do buy some things there. But not pants.

6 comments: said...

I think the Bay is cooler than at sears is just aweful. said...

There are also some great deals at the downtown Bay, just picked up a new luggage set today, all 60% off and cheaper than the garbage they sell at Bentley stores. You can find some good deals at the downtown bay if you look, and you can't beat the paddlewheel on the
6th floor for lunch !

cherenkov said...

Actually I have the same problem with pants at Sears.

Ya, they do have some good deals and decent stuff, and I still shop at the downtown store. I work downtown so its easy. I just think they need to re-think certain things.

Another example: I wanted to buy coffee mugs as a Christmas present. Unless I wanted to go for expensive Denby mugs, there was nothing that could be bought individually. Only complete place settings. Again, there's a whole demographic that they're alienating with stuff like this.

Anonymous said...

Just before Eaton's tanked they switched over to only clothes. That won't save the Bay. Its problem is location, not what it sells. Peggers don't shop at downtown dept. stores anymore. I love the Bay and its malt shop downstairs, but I rarely shop there because I don't shop downtown. Just the way it goes. The place is on borrowed time. I am NOT pleased to write this.

CMPerry said...

The Bay has sold nice modern furniture. I bought an Ikea-esqe platform bed there some time in the '70s that I wish I still had - as well as a couch and chair, coffee tables and other good quality items which would still be in style now. We used to always shop at the Bay, and for good quality stuff, as well as at Eaton's. Downtown was where you went. But the sad truth is I haven't shopped there since I can't remember and generally don't like going downtown for anything if I can avoid it, so I really don't know how bad The Bay has become. I even hate going to Polo Park now.

cherenkov said...

why don't you like Polo Park?

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