TORONTO –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The Fifteen Percent Pledge Canada, a non-profit organization calling on major retailers to allocate 15 percent of shelf-space to BIPOC brands, announced today that Hudson’s Bay is the first Canadian department store to commit to the Pledge. By leveraging their nationwide store and digital footprint, Hudson’s Bay will be working alongside the Fifteen Percent Pledge as they work to create more equitable industries and profit structures. With nearly 90 locations, Hudson’s Bay’s commitment will help advance equity across the country.
“We’re excited to welcome Hudson’s Bay as the first Canadian department store to take the Pledge and commit to investing in BIPOC businesses,” said Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge. “As a Black business owner and proud Canadian, it’s encouraging to see this iconic brand take a pivotal step toward driving equity across retail. This is the first time Hudson’s Bay has made a commitment like this in its 350-year history, and we hope their dedication and leadership encourages other international retailers to support brands that are representative of their diverse populations.”
In joining the Fifteen Percent Pledge, Hudson’s Bay has committed that at least 15% of all new brands purchased by Hudson’s Bay for its stores and thebay.com will be BIPOC-owned or designed, beginning with the Fall/Winter 2021 season. As part of the Pledge, the department store will also be reviewing their internal business organisation to ensure, by 2022, 15% or more of the design talent for owned brands are BIPOC, and will work toward supporting the onboarding, growth and success of emerging BIPOC brands.
“As one of the country’s leading corporate citizens, Hudson’s Bay has a responsibility to drive equity and inclusion in Canada,” says Iain Nairn, President & CEO of Hudson’s Bay. “Our commitment through the Fifteen Percent Pledge is part of a holistic change to how we do business, and will hold us accountable to providing opportunity and delivering products that are representative of the diversity of our customers, associates and communities.”
Earlier this year, J. Crew, KITH, Next Model Management and Moda Operandi announced their commitment to the Fifteen Percent Pledge. Additional retailers that previously committed to the Pledge include Indigo, Gap Inc., Crate&Barrel, Macy’s Inc., InStyle U.S., Sephora, Rent the Runway, West Elm, Yelp, Vogue U.S. and MedMen.
About Fifteen Percent Pledge
The Fifteen Percent Pledge is a 501c3 non-profit advocacy organization urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses. It offers large corporations accountability, support and consulting services with the goal of advocating for and supporting Black-owned businesses. The Fifteen Percent Pledge seeks economic equality and prosperity for Black future founders, Black students, and Black people in the workforce. Launched in 2020 by Aurora James, the initiative was born from seeing multiple acts of social injustice and police brutality in the United States, with a lack of accountability for the systemic issues at play. Businesses including Macy’s Inc., Gap Inc., Sephora, Rent the Runway, West Elm, Vogue Magazine and more have all committed to the Fifteen Percent Pledge. For more information, visit www.15percentpledge.org
About Hudson’s Bay
Hudson’s Bay is a digital-first purpose-driven retailer helping Canadians live their best style of life. As one of the country’s most iconic brands, Hudson’s Bay operates 88 full-line locations and thebay.com featuring Marketplace — the 5th largest e-commerce business in Canada. Hudson’s Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivalled assortment including fashion, designer, home, beauty, food concepts and more. The Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is ranked second in department store loyalty programs in Canada. Hudson’s Bay operates under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.