Hudson’s Bay Company Still Offers Downtown Toronto Displays

TORONTO, Ontario – There are a diminished number of downtown department stores where one can experience what Christmas was like in the 20th century pre-internet, pre-mall retail era. One place where this experience still lives is the Hudson’s Bay department store.

Original flag for Hudson’s Bay Company.

“For more than 100 years, these holiday windows have been quintessential to the Toronto experience,” says Alexander Meyer, Chief Customer Officer at The Bay. “With the digital transcendence of this year’s windows, we are creating a whole new level of connectivity for our customers, not only in Toronto but throughout Canada.”

In the U.S., there are a diminished number of stores with downtown operations. Macy’s still offers downtown stores in larger markets like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, though in severely diminished scale and enthusiasm. The company has also deleted brand names like Chicago’s Marshall Field and Philadelphia’s Wanamaker, which diminishes the authentic experience as the original downtown stores were personal expressions of particular men and families. The sister company of Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, still operates its Rockefeller Center store.

One such institution in Canada is Hudson’s Bay, which married its downtown window tradition to augmented reality, powered by Meta Spark.

The windows in downtown Toronto still had the company’s animatronic windows including:

  • Snow-Making Department: Ever wonder how snow is actually made? A bounty of magical frozen flakes come to life in this winter wonderland. Passersby can snap photos in adult and kid-sized cutouts on the exterior of our windows and join in with our snow angels.
  • Candy Cane Department: A look at how the magical treats are made and gently packaged with a robotic arm before being dropped into queue to be sent in Santa’s sleigh and delivered to the children of the globe.
  • Gifting Department: A glimpse into all of the parcels being wrapped, sorted and packed by robots working in sync to keep up with the flow of presents coming down the conveyor belt. Plus, new technology allows onlookers to press a button on the glass and one very friendly robot will want to give you a high-five and take a selfie.
  • Ornament-Making Department: A snapshot of how some signature ornaments are painted and detailed with precision and care. A giant mechanical hand carefully selects each colour to be applied before the finished crafts are sent out for people to decorate their homes.
  • Mail-Room Department: The inner workings of the technology used to scan, sort and process all of Santa’s letters. A giant computer spits out a list of names while a map of the globe gives Santa directions to find all the boys and girls around the world.

QR Code Promotes Tradition

For 2022, the company offered a QR code, point the camera at a surface and click to be transported into the augmented reality. Once ‘inside,’ device motion and screen interactions let people explore elements from all five of the holiday windows using both the front and rear cameras on their smartphones.

It has been a busy fall at Hudson’s Bay. In September, Ms. Sophia Hwang-Judiesch was appointed president of Hudson’s Bay, reporting to Richard Baker, Governor and Executive Chairman, HBC and join The Bay’s Executive Committee led by Iain Nairn, President and CEO, The Bay

Through a digital-first, purpose-driven lens, The Bay helps Canadians live their best style of life. The Bay operates thebay.com featuring Marketplace, one of the largest premium life & style digital platforms in Canada, with a seamless connection to a network of 84 Hudson’s Bay stores. The Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivaled assortment of products and categories, including fashion, home, beauty, food concepts and more. Follow us on our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok.

Company Invented Canada

The Bay and Hudson’s Bay operate under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.

The Bay operates thebay.com featuring Marketplace, one of the largest premium life & style digital platforms in Canada, with a seamless connection to a network of 84 Hudson’s Bay stores. The Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivaled assortment of products and categories, including fashion, home, beauty, food concepts and more.

The Bay and Hudson’s Bay operate under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.

The Hudson’s Bay Company has the enviable and irreplacable tradition of the only remaining company in the world that was once a country. The company keeps the tradition alive by referring to its head, Richard Baker, as Governor as well as Executive Chairman. The first governor of Hudson’s Bay was Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, who served from 1670-1682. He was of the Palatinate-Simmern branch of the House of Wittelsbach.

You can follow the venerable company on social media channels including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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