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Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson's Bay Company

Overview
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" ("La Baie" in French) is the oldest commercial corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores
Retailing
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...

 throughout Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The company is headquartered in the Simpson Tower
Simpson Tower
The Simpson Tower is the 26th-tallest building in Toronto. Completed in 1968 by architect John B. Parkin, as the headquarters of the Simpsons department store company, it has 33 floors and is 144 metres high. In 1978, as part of a corporate takeover, the Simpson Tower became the property of the...

 in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

.

The company was incorporated by English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1670 as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay and functioned as the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 government in parts of North America before Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an states and later the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 laid claim to those territories.
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Encyclopedia
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" ("La Baie" in French) is the oldest commercial corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores
Retailing
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...

 throughout Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The company is headquartered in the Simpson Tower
Simpson Tower
The Simpson Tower is the 26th-tallest building in Toronto. Completed in 1968 by architect John B. Parkin, as the headquarters of the Simpsons department store company, it has 33 floors and is 144 metres high. In 1978, as part of a corporate takeover, the Simpson Tower became the property of the...

 in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

.

The company was incorporated by English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1670 as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay and functioned as the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 government in parts of North America before Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an states and later the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 laid claim to those territories. It was at one time the largest landowner in the world, with Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

 having 15% of North American acreage. From its long time headquarters at York Factory
York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory was a settlement and factory located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, Canada, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately south-southeast of Churchill. The settlement was headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Northern Department, from 1821 to...

 on Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

, the company controlled the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 throughout much of British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

-controlled North America for several centuries. Undertaking early exploration, its traders and trappers forged early relationships with many groups of First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

/Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. Its network of trading posts
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

 formed the nucleus for later official authority in many areas of Western Canada
Western Canada
Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and commonly as the West, is a region of Canada that includes the four provinces west of the province of Ontario.- Provinces :...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In the late 19th century, its vast territory became the largest component in the newly formed Dominion of Canada, in which the company was the largest private landowner.

With the decline of the fur trade, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling vital goods to settlers in the Canadian West. Today the company owns several Canadian retail chains including The Bay
The Bay
The Bay is a chain of 91 department stores that operate across parts of Canada. It is the main brand of Hudson's Bay Company , North America's oldest company. It has its headquarters in the Simpson Tower in Toronto. In French, the chain is known as la Baie, short for "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson"...

, Zellers
Zellers
Zellers Inc. is Canada's second-largest chain of mass merchandise discount stores, with locations in communities across Canada. A subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company , it has 273 locations across the country....

, Home Outfitters
Home Outfitters
Home Outfitters is Canada's largest kitchen, bed, and bath superstore, with 69 stores across the country selling bedding, towels, housewares, and other home accessories....

, and Fields
Fields (department store)
Fields is a brand of Canadian discount stores owned by Hudson's Bay Company, with 165 locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.- History :...

. The Hudson's Bay Company Archives
Hudson's Bay Company Archives
The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The HBC archives are a division of the Archives of Manitoba that preserves the thousands of mainly hand-written records and maps of the Hudson's Bay Company employees for hundreds of years...

, a collection of the company's many records and maps, are located in Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

.

The company is owned by Hudson's Bay Trading Company
Hudson's Bay Trading Company
Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P. is an American portfolio company for NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity company. Hudson's Bay Trading Company was founded in 2008....

, the portfolio company of the United States private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners
NRDC Equity Partners
NRDC Equity Partners is an entrepreneurial-based private investment firm investing in retail, real estate and consumer branded businesses.-History:...

, which also owns Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern U.S., the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods...

, a high-end department store chain in the U.S.

Early years


In the 17th century, the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 had a monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 on the Canadian fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

. However, two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Pierre-Esprit Radisson was a French-Canadian fur trader and explorer. He is often linked to his brother-in-law Médard des Groseilliers who was about 20 years older. The decision of Radisson and Groseilliers to enter the English service led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company.Born near...

 and Médard des Groseilliers
Médard des Groseilliers
Médard Chouart des Groseilliers was a French explorer and fur trader in Canada. He is often paired with his brother-in-law Pierre-Esprit Radisson who was about 20 years his junior...

, learned from the Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

 that the best fur country was north and west of Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 and that there was a "frozen sea" still further north. Correctly guessing that this was Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

, they sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on the Bay, thus reducing the cost of moving furs overland. But, the recently appointed French Secretary of State, Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing...

, was trying to promote farming in the colony and was opposed to exploration and trapping.

Radisson and des Groseilliers approached a group of businessmen in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 to help finance their explorations. The Bostonians agreed on the plan's merits, and brought the two to England to elicit financing. In 1668, the English commissioned two ships, the Nonsuch
Nonsuch (ship)
The Nonsuch was the ketch that sailed into Hudson Bay in 1668-1669 under Zachariah Gillam, in the first trading voyage for what was to become the Hudson's Bay Company two years later. Originally built as a merchant ship in 1650, and later the Royal Navy ketch HMS Nonsuch, the vessel was sold to Sir...

 and the Eaglet, to explore possible trade into Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

. The Nonsuch was commanded by Captain Zachariah Gillam and accompanied by des Groseilliers, while the Eaglet was commanded by Captain William Stannard and accompanied by Radisson. On June 5, 1668, both ships left port at Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, but the "Eaglet" was forced to turn back off the coast of Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

The Nonsuch continued to the southern portion of James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

, where its explorers founded Fort Rupert
Waskaganish, Quebec
Waskaganish is a Cree village of about 2000 people at the mouth of the Rupert River on the south-east shore of James Bay in the Eeyou Istchee territory in Northern Quebec, Canada...

 at the mouth of the Rupert River
Rupert River
The Rupert River is one of the largest rivers in Quebec, Canada. From its headwaters in Lake Mistassini, the largest natural lake in Québec, it flows west into Rupert Bay on James Bay. The Rupert drains an area of . There is some extremely large whitewater on the river, but paddlers can avoid...

. Both the fort and the river were named after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

. After a successful trading expedition over the winter of 1668–9, the Nonsuch returned to England.
The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay was incorporated on May 2, 1670, with a royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 from King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

. The charter granted the company a monopoly over the Indian Trade, especially the fur
Fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

 trade, in the region watered by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 in northern Canada. The area was called Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

 after Prince Rupert
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

, the first director of the company and a first cousin of King Charles. This region constitutes 1.5 million square miles (3.9 million km²) in the drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 of Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

, comprising over 1/3 the area of modern day Canada and stretching into the north central United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The specific boundaries were unknown at the time. Rupert's Land would eventually be Canada's largest land purchase in the 1800s.

The company founded its first headquarters at Fort Nelson at the mouth of the Nelson River
Nelson River
The Nelson River is a river of north-central North America, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Its full length is , it has mean discharge of , and has a drainage basin of , of which is in the United States...

 in present day northeastern Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

. The location afforded convenient access to the fort from the vast interior waterway systems of the Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan River
The Saskatchewan River is a major river in Canada, approximately long, flowing roughly eastward across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to empty into Lake Winnipeg...

 and Red
Red River of the North
The Red River is a North American river. Originating at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers in the United States, it flows northward through the Red River Valley and forms the border between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota before continuing into Manitoba, Canada...

 rivers. The English quickly built other posts around the southern edge of Hudson Bay in Manitoba and present day Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, such as at Fort Severn, built in 1689. Called "factories
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

" (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
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 fur trading operations in New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

.

The Hudson's Bay Company's second inland trading post was established by Samuel Hearne
Samuel Hearne
Samuel Hearne was a 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 Coppermine River...

 in 1774 in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.

During the spring and summer, First Nations
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 and Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

 trappers did the vast majority of the animal trapping and pelt preparation. They travelled by canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

 and walking, being received at the fort to sell their pelts. In exchange they typically received metal tools and hunting gear, often imported by the company from Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the centre of inexpensive manufacturing in that era.

The early coastal factory (trading post)
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

 model contrasted with the system of the French, who established an extensive system of inland posts and sent traders to live among the tribes of the region. In March 1686, the French sent a raiding party
Hudson Bay expedition (1686)
The Hudson Bay expedition of 1686 was one of the Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay. It was the first several expeditions sent from New France against the trading outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company in the southern reaches of Hudson Bay...

 under the Chevalier des Troyes
Pierre de Troyes, Chevalier de Troyes
Pierre de Troyes, Chevalier de Troyes , a captain in the French army arrived at Quebec in August 1685 with reinforcements for the colony...

 over 1300 km (807.8 mi) to capture the company's posts along James Bay. The French appointed Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] (16 July 1661 – 9 July 1702 (probable)was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of...

, 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
Battle of Fort Albany
The 1688 Battle of Fort Albany was one of the Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay. In the Hudson Bay expedition the French had, in time of peace, marched overland from Quebec and captured all three English posts on James Bay. The French had left a garrison at Fort Albany, Ontario and needed to...

 failed due to ruses and deceptions by d'Iberville. After 1688 the two kingdoms were officially at war
King William's War
The first of the French and Indian Wars, King William's War was the name used in the English colonies in America to refer to the North American theater of the Nine Years' War...

. D'Iberville raided Fort Severn in 1690 but did not attempt to raid the well defended local headquarters at York Factory
York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory was a settlement and factory located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, Canada, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately south-southeast of Churchill. The settlement was headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Northern Department, from 1821 to...

. In 1693 the company recovered Fort Albany
Battle of Fort Albany (1693)
The Battle of Fort Albany in 1693 was the successful recapture by English forces of the Hudson's Bay Company trading outpost at Fort Albany in the southern reaches of Hudson Bay...

; d'Iberville captured York Factory
Capture of York Factory
The Capture of York Factory was one of the Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay. In 1686 Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville marched overland from Quebec and captured all the English posts on James Bay. This left York Factory which was too far away and could only be reached by sea. In 1688 King William's...

 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
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 . The battle took place on 5 September 1697, when a French warship commanded by Captain Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville defeated an English squadron commanded by Captain...

, the largest naval battle in the history of the North American Arctic. D'Iberville's depleted French force captured York Factory by a ruse; they laid siege to the fort while pretending to be a much larger army, the French held all of the outposts except Fort Albany until 1713. (Fort Albany was again unsuccessfully attacked in 1709
Battle of Fort Albany (1709)
The Battle of Fort Albany was an attack by French colonial volunteers and their native allies against the Hudson's Bay Company outpost of Fort Albany in the southern reaches of Hudson Bay. About 70 Frenchmen and 30 Indians attacked the fort, which was under the command of John Fullartine. ...

 by a small French and Indian force.) The economic consequences of the French possession to the company were significant; it did not pay any dividends for more than 20 years. See Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay
Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay
Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay: When the English built trading posts on Hudson Bay the French tried to drive them out. This lasted from 1672 until 1713 when British sovereignty over the Bay was recognized by the Treaty of Utrecht...

.

The Rupert's Land territory was ceded to the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 (so named following the union of Scotland and England in 1707) in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. After the treaty, the company rebuilt York Factory as a brick star fort
Star fort
A star fort, or trace italienne, is a fortification in the style that evolved during the age of gunpowder, when cannon came to dominate the battlefield, and was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy....

 at the mouth of the nearby Hayes River
Hayes River
The Hayes River is a river in Northern Region, Manitoba, Canada that flows from Molson Lake to Hudson Bay at York Factory. It was an historically important river in the development of Canada, and is today a Canadian Heritage River and the longest naturally flowing river in Manitoba.-Course:The...

, its present location. In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War
Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War
The naval operations of the American Revolutionary War , divide themselves naturally into two periods...

, a French squadron under Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse
Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse
Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was a French Navy officer and explorer whose expedition vanished in Oceania.-Early career:...

 captured and demolished
Hudson Bay Expedition
The Hudson Bay expedition of Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse was a series of military raids on the lucrative fur trading posts and fortifications of the Hudson's Bay Company on the shores of Hudson Bay by a squadron of the French Royal Navy...

 York Factory and Prince of Wales Fort
Prince of Wales Fort
The Prince of Wales Fort is a historic fort on Hudson Bay across the Churchill River from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.-History:The European history of this area starts with the discovery of Hudson Bay in 1610. The area was recognized as important in the fur trade and of potential importance for...

.

In its trade with native peoples, the Hudson's Bay Company exchanged wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 blankets, called Hudson's Bay point blanket
Hudson's Bay point blanket
A Hudson's Bay point blanket is a type of wool blanket traded by the Hudson's Bay Company in western British North America and the United States during the 18th century and 19th century. The blankets were typically traded to First Nations and Native Americans in exchange for beaver pelts...

s, for the beaver pelts trapped by aboriginal hunters. The number of indigo
Indigo
Indigo is a color named after the purple dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. The color is placed on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet...

 stripes (aka points) woven into the blankets identified its weight and size. An occasional misconception is that the number of stripes is related to its trade value.

A parallel may be drawn between HBC's control over Rupert's Land with the trade monopoly and government functions enjoyed by the Honourable East India Company over India during roughly the same period.

Steamwheelers and ships

  • Beaver
    Beaver (steamship)
    Beaver was the first steamship to operate in the Pacific Northwest of North America. She made remote parts of the west coast of Canada accessible for maritime fur trading and was chartered by the Royal Navy for surveying the coastline of British Columbia....

  • Mount Royal
    Mount Royal (sternwheeler)
    The Mount Royal was a sternwheeler that worked on the Skeena River and Stikine Rivers in British Columbia, Canada, from 1902 until 1907. She was named after Lord Strathcona who was also known as Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal....

  • Princess Louise

19th century


In 1821, the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

 of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and Hudson's Bay Company merged. Their combined territory was extended by a licence to the North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. Named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land, the territory at its greatest extent covered what is now Yukon, mainland Northwest Territories, northwestern mainland Nunavut, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern...

, so it reached to the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 on the North and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 on the West. Before the merger, the employees of the HBC, unlike the North West Company, did not participate in its profits. After the merger, with all operations under the management of Sir George Simpson
George Simpson (administrator)
Sir George Simpson was a Scots-Quebecer and employee of the Hudson's Bay Company . His title was Governor-in-Chief of Rupert's Land and administrator over the Northwest Territories and Columbia Department in British North America from 1821 to 1860.-Early years:George Simpson was born in Dingwall,...

 (1826–1860), the company had a corps of commissioned officers, 25 chief factors and 28 chief traders, who shared in the profits of the company during the monopoly years. Its trade covered 7770000 km² (3,000,013.8 sq mi), and it had 1,500 contract employees.

The 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 profits of the company. Chief Factors sat in council with the Governors and were the heads of districts. They were entitled to two shares of the profits or the losses of the company. The average income of a Chief Trader was £360 and that of a Chief Factor was £720.

Although the HBC maintained a monopoly on the fur trade during the early mid 19th century, there was competition from James Sinclair and Andrew McDermot
Andrew McDermot
Andrew McDermot was a Hudson's Bay Company employee who became a prominent independent fur trade merchant and member of the Council of Assiniboia.-McDermot's background and family relations:...

 (Dermott), independent traders in the Red River Colony
Red River Colony
The Red River Colony was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. The colony along the Red River of the North was never very successful...

. They shipped furs by the Red River Trails
Red River Trails
The Red River Trails were a network of ox cart routes connecting the Red River Colony and Fort Garry in British North America with the head of navigation on the Mississippi River in the United States...

 to Norman Kittson
Norman Kittson
Norman Wolfred Kittson was variously a fur trader, steamboat-line operator, and railway entrepreneur.-Fur trader:...

a buyer in the United States. In addition, Americans controlled the Maritime Fur Trade
Maritime Fur Trade
The Maritime Fur Trade was a ship-based fur trade system that focused on acquiring furs of sea otters and other animals from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and natives of Alaska. The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain, and other Chinese...

 on the Northwest Coast until the 1840s.

Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, the HBC controlled nearly all trading operations in the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

, based out of the company headquarters at Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost along the Columbia River that served as the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in the company's Columbia District...

 on the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

. Although authority over the region was nominally shared by the United States and Britain through the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, company policy, enforced via Chief Factor John McLoughlin
John McLoughlin
Dr. John McLoughlin, baptized Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin, was the Chief Factor of the Columbia Fur District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. He was later known as the "Father of Oregon" for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest...

 of the company's Columbia District, 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
Fort Boise refers to two different locations in southwestern Idaho. The first was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post near the Snake River on the Oregon border, dating from the era when Idaho was part of the fur company's Columbia District. After several rebuilds, it was ultimately abandoned in...

 in 1834 (in present-day southwestern Idaho) to compete with the American Fort Hall
Fort Hall
Fort Hall, sitting athwart the end of the common stretch shared by the three far west emigrant trails was a 19th century outpost in the eastern Oregon Country, which eventually became part of the present-day United States, and is located in southeastern Idaho near Fort Hall, Idaho...

, 483 km (300.1 mi) to the east. In 1837, it purchased Fort Hall
Fort Hall
Fort Hall, sitting athwart the end of the common stretch shared by the three far west emigrant trails was a 19th century outpost in the eastern Oregon Country, which eventually became part of the present-day United States, and is located in southeastern Idaho near Fort Hall, Idaho...

, also along the route of the Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

, where 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
Marcus Whitman was an American physician and Oregon missionary in the Oregon Country. Along with his wife Narcissa Whitman he started a mission in what is now southeastern Washington state in 1836, which would later become a stop along the Oregon Trail...

. In the years that followed, thousands of emigrants poured into the Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

. In 1846, the United States acquired full authority of the most settled areas of the Oregon Country south of the 49th parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

. McLoughlin, who had once turned away would be settlers as company director, then welcomed them from his general store at Oregon City
Oregon City, Oregon
Oregon City was the first city in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated. It is the county seat of Clackamas County, Oregon...

 and was later proclaimed the "Father of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

". The company retains no presence today in what is now the United States portion of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

.

During the 1820s and 1830s, HBC trappers were deeply involved in the early exploration and development of Northern California
Northern California
Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The San Francisco Bay Area , and Sacramento as well as its metropolitan area are the main population centers...

. Company trapping brigades were sent south from Fort Vancouver, along what became known as the Siskiyou Trail
Siskiyou Trail
The Siskiyou Trail stretched from California's Central Valley to Oregon's Willamette Valley; modern-day Interstate 5 follows this pioneer path...

, into Northern California as far south as the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

. These trapping brigades in Northern California faced serious risks, and were often the first to explore relatively uncharted territory.

Between 1820 and 1870, HBC issued its own paper money
Paper Money
Paper Money is the second album by the band Montrose. It was released in 1974 and was the band's last album to feature Sammy Hagar as lead vocalist.-History:...

. The notes, denominated in pounds sterling, were printed in London and issued at the York Factory, Fort Garry
Fort Garry
Fort Garry, also known as Upper Fort Garry, was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on or near the site of the North West Company's Fort Gibraltar. Fort Garry was named after Nicholas...

 and the Red River colony
Red River Colony
The Red River Colony was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. The colony along the Red River of the North was never very successful...

.

The Guillaume Sayer
Guillaume Sayer
Pierre Guillaume Sayer was a Métis fur trader whose trial was a turning point in the ending of the Hudson's Bay Company's monopoly of the fur trade in North America....

 Trial in 1849 contributed to the end of the HBC monopoly. Sayer, a Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

 trapper and trader, was accused of the illegal trading of furs. The Court of Assiniboia
Assiniboia
Assiniboia refers to a number of different locations and administrative jurisdictions in Canada. The name is taken from the Assiniboine First Nation.- District of Assiniboia:...

 brought Sayer to trial, before a jury of HBC officials and supporters. During the trial, a crowd of armed Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

 men led by Louis Riel Sr.
Louis Riel Sr.
Louis Riel Sr. was a farmer, miller, Métis leader, and the father of Louis Riel.Born in Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, Riel was the eldest son of Jean-Baptiste Riel, dit L’Irlande, a voyageur, and Marguerite Boucher, a Franco-Ojibwa Métis. The Riel family moved back to Lower Canada while Louis...

 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
Palliser Expedition
The British North American Exploring Expedition, commonly called the Palliser Expedition, explored and surveyed the open prairies and rugged wilderness of western Canada from 1857 to 1860. The purpose was to explore possible routes for the Canadian Pacific Railway and discover new species of plants...

 of 1857 to 1860, led by Captain John Palliser
John Palliser
John Palliser was an Irish-born geographer and explorer. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he was the son of Colonel Wray Palliser and a brother of Major Sir William Palliser , all descendants of Dr William Palliser, Archbishop of Cashel .From 1839 to 1863, Palliser served in the Waterford Militia,...

. Although he initially recommended against settlement of the region the report sparked a debate. That ended the myth publicized by the Hudson's Bay Company that the Canadian West was unfit for agricultural settlement. In 1863, the International Financial Society became the majority shareholders of the HBC.

In 1870, the government abolished the HBC monopoly and opened trade in the region to any entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

. The company relinquished its ownership of Rupert's Land under the Rupert's Land Act 1868, enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Modern operations



Hudson's Bay Company Stores first operated from the trading posts that were established across northern Canada. Today, this is the only part of the company operation remaining, in the form of department stores under the name The Bay. The first department store opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1881 (this building is considered the flagship store). Others soon followed. Until quite recently, many Hudson's Bay Company stores were the only stores in remote towns. More recently, the stores in major downtown locations have been transformed into boutiques.

In 1970, on the 300th anniversary of the company, head office functions were transferred from London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 to Winnipeg. As the company expanded into the East, head office functions were moved to Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

.
Since the Designer Depot
Designer Depot
Designer Depot was a division of Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Company . It was created in November 2004, and sold by HBC in April 2008 to the INC Group of Companies. The first location opened as part of the Vaughan Mills Mall in Vaughan, Ontario. It is a large department store that sells brand...

 was sold for lagging sales performance, today the company has four retail divisions: The Bay
The Bay
The Bay is a chain of 91 department stores that operate across parts of Canada. It is the main brand of Hudson's Bay Company , North America's oldest company. It has its headquarters in the Simpson Tower in Toronto. In French, the chain is known as la Baie, short for "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson"...

, Zellers
Zellers
Zellers Inc. is Canada's second-largest chain of mass merchandise discount stores, with locations in communities across Canada. A subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company , it has 273 locations across the country....

, Home Outfitters
Home Outfitters
Home Outfitters is Canada's largest kitchen, bed, and bath superstore, with 69 stores across the country selling bedding, towels, housewares, and other home accessories....

, and Fields
Fields (department store)
Fields is a brand of Canadian discount stores owned by Hudson's Bay Company, with 165 locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.- History :...

. Northern Stores are no longer operated by HBC, but by a corporation organized in 1987 under the name The North West Company
The North West Company
The North West Company is a grocery and merchandise store in remote communities across northern Canada and Alaska. Through its subsidiary, Cost-U-Less stores it also operates in the US territories of Guam, The CNMI, and American Samoa and in the Caribbean....

. Simpson's
Simpson's
The Robert Simpson Company, or Simpsons , was a Canadian department store chain, founded by Robert Simpson. The chain was eventually bought by the Hudson's Bay Company.- History :...

 department stores, which were acquired by Hudson's Bay Company in 1978, were converted to The Bay stores in 1991. In 1972, the company acquired the four-store Shop-Rite
Shop-Rite
Shop-Rite was a chain of catalogue stores in Ontario, Canada that operated from the 1970s to 1982. In a catalogue store, customers would browse the catalogue in the store, select their merchandise and apply to the store clerk for the item....

 chain of catalogue stores
Catalog merchant
A catalog merchant is a form of retailing. The typical merchant sells a wide variety of household and personal products, with many emphasizing jewelry. Unlike a self-serve retail store, most of the items are not displayed; customers select the products from printed catalogs in the store and fill...

. The chain was quickly expanded to 65 stores in Ontario, and 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. This form of retailing, now largely disappeared, was referred to as "catalogue showroom"; Consumers Distributing
Consumers Distributing
Consumers Distributing was a catalogue store in Canada and the United States that operated from 1957 to 1996...

 was left with a near monopoly on the format in Canada.

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, the Hudson's Bay Company Archives were transferred from London to their Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg. They granted public access to the collection the following year. In 1991 the archival records of the company were donated to the Archives of Manitoba
Archives of Manitoba
Archives of Manitoba is the official government archive of the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is located at 200 Vaughan Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are part of the Archives of Manitoba....

 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

.

In 1987, HBC sold off its Canadian fur-auction business to Hudson's Bay Fur Sales Canada. (This company is now known as North American Fur Auctions
North American Fur Auctions
North American Fur Auctions is a Canadian company that auctions on consignment fur pelts harvested in Canada and the United States. Its services are used by both large fur farms and small-time trappers. Its auctions are held three to four times a year in Toronto...

.) In 1991, the Bay
The Bay
The Bay is a chain of 91 department stores that operate across parts of Canada. It is the main brand of Hudson's Bay Company , North America's oldest company. It has its headquarters in the Simpson Tower in Toronto. In French, the chain is known as la Baie, short for "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson"...

 agreed to stop selling fur
Fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

 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. Animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 groups, such as Freedom for Animals have been campaigning to get the Bay to stop selling furs.

In 1994, the HBC donated the Company records to the Province of Manitoba. The appraised value of the records was nearly $60 million. A foundation, funded through the tax savings resulting from the donation, was established to support the operations of the HBCA as a division of the Archives of Manitoba, along with other activities and programs. More than two kilometres of filed documents, as well as hundreds of microfilm reels, are now stored in a special climate-controlled vault in the Manitoba Archives Building.

In December 2003, Maple Leaf Heritage Investments, a Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

-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
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 businesswoman, Anita Zucker, widow of Jerry Zucker
Jerry Zucker (businessman)
Jerry Zucker was an Israeli-born American businessman and philanthropist.-Biography:Jerry Zucker was the son of Holocaust survivors. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, chemistry, and physics and went on to earn his M.S...

. Zucker had previously been the head of the Polymer Group, which acquired another Canadian institution, the Dominion Textile Company
Dominion Textile
The Dominion Textile Inc. or Domtex was a major Canadian textile manufacturer that was founded in 1905 and closed in 1998 when its remains were purchased by the American Polymer Group, at the time headed by Jerry Zucker....

.

On January 26, 2006, HBC's board unanimously agreed to a bid of $15.25 CAD/share from Jerry Zucker whose original bid was $14.75 CAD/share, ending a prolonged fight between HBC and Zucker. The South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 billionaire financier was a longtime HBC minority shareholder. In a March 9, 2006 press release, HBC announced that Zucker would replace George Heller
George Heller
George Heller is a Canadian businessperson. He was the president and CEO of Hudson's Bay Company from 1999 to 2006, when the company was acquired by Jerry Zucker. He continued to serve as Senior Director of the Board until late 2008....

 as the new Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 and CEO, to become the first US citizen to lead the company. After Zucker's death, the board named his widow Anita Zucker
Anita Zucker
Anita Zucker was the first female Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, which was first incorporated in 1670, and also an owner of the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays. She is also a committed philanthropist.- Personal life :...

 as HBC Governor and HBC Deputy-Governor Rob Johnston as CEO.

In 2008, after Zucker's death, the company was sold to NRDC Equity Partners, the private equity firm of Purchase, New York
Purchase, New York
Purchase, New York is a hamlet of the town of Harrison, in Westchester County. Its ZIP code is 10577. Its name is derived from Harrison's purchase, for Harrison could have as much land as he could ride in one day...

. In the United States, NRDC Equity Partners operates Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern U.S., the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods...

, the oldest department store chain in the U.S. The Canadian and U.S. holdings are part of NRDC Equity Partners' portfolio company, Hudson's Bay Trading Company
Hudson's Bay Trading Company
Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P. is an American portfolio company for NRDC Equity Partners, a private equity company. Hudson's Bay Trading Company was founded in 2008....

, as of the fall of 2008.

In 2007, the Hudson's Bay Company Archives
Hudson's Bay Company Archives
The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The HBC archives are a division of the Archives of Manitoba that preserves the thousands of mainly hand-written records and maps of the Hudson's Bay Company employees for hundreds of years...

 became part of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 "Memory of the World" project, under UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

. The records covered 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.
Today's modern HBC has diversified into joint ventures and other types of business products. HBC has credit card, mortgage, and personal insurance branches. These other products and services are joint partnerships with other corporations, similar to what President's Choice Financial
President's Choice Financial
President’s Choice Financial is a banking service provided by Loblaw Companies . Several different organizations provide individual financial services under the President's Choice Financial umbrella:...

 brands are to Loblaw Companies Limited. HBC also has other HBC Rewards
HBC Rewards
HBC Rewards is a loyalty program where customers earn points for purchases at Hudson's Bay Company's various chains of stores in Canada, including Zellers, The Bay, Home Outfitters, HBC Telecommunications, and hbc.com, their online store...

 corporate partners such as: Imperial Oil
Imperial Oil
Imperial Oil Limited is Canada's largest petroleum company. The company is engaged in the exploration, production and sale of crude oil and natural gas. It is controlled by US based ExxonMobil, which owns 69.6% of its stock...

/Esso
Esso
Esso is an international trade name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. Pronounced , it is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil, and as such became the focus of much litigation and regulatory restriction in the United States. In 1972, it was largely replaced in the U.S. by...

, M&M Meat Shops
M&M Meat Shops
M&M Meat Shops is the largest specialty frozen food store chain in Canada. The company is headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, and has locations in all ten provinces, the Yukon and Northwest Territories; the company formally had operations in the Midwestern United States under the MyMenu brand...

, Chapters
Chapters
Chapters is a Canadian big box bookstore banner owned by Indigo Books and Music. Formerly a company in its own right competing with Indigo, the combined company has continued to operate both banners since their merger in 2001.-History:...

/Indigo
Indigo Books and Music
Indigo Books & Music Inc. is a Canadian retail bookstore chain. The company was founded in 1996 by CEO Heather Reisman, wife of Gerry Schwartz, majority owner and CEO of Onex Corporation....

 Books, Kelsey's/Montana's Restaurants, Thrifty Car Rental, Cineplex Entertainment
Cineplex Entertainment
Cineplex Entertainment LP , is the largest film exhibitor in Canada and owns, leases or has a joint-venture interest in 130 theatres with 1,351 screens. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Cineplex operates theatres from British Columbia to Quebec...

 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
Air Miles
Air Miles is the name of separately operated loyalty programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain , the Netherlands and the Middle East, through which points are earned on purchases at participating merchants.-History:...

.

HBC is involved in community and charity activities. The HBC Rewards Community Program help fund raise for community causes. HBC Foundation is a charity agency involved in social issues and service. HBC formerly sponsored 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, however, discontinued this event as of 2009.

The U.S. firm NRDC Equity Partners
NRDC Equity Partners
NRDC Equity Partners is an entrepreneurial-based private investment firm investing in retail, real estate and consumer branded businesses.-History:...

, LLC, owner of American department store chain Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern U.S., the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods...

, announced its purchase of the company on July 16, 2008.

On January 13, 2011, HBC announced that U.S.-based discount retailer Target Corporation
Target Corporation
Target Corporation, doing business as Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. The company is ranked at number 33 on the Fortune 500 and is a component of the Standard & Poor's...

 would purchase the lease agreements of up to 220 Zellers stores, which have not yet been identified, for C$1.825 billion. Under the agreement, Zellers will initially sublease the properties, and continue to operate them as Zellers locations until at least early 2012. However, by 2014, 100 to 150 of the locations will be renovated and reopened under the Target banner, with the remaining acquired locations to be transferred to other retailers. HBC has said it will operate the roughly 60 Zellers locations not chosen to be acquired by Target as part of a smaller Zellers chain operating in "specific communities".

Rent obligation under charter


Under the charter forming the Hudson's Bay Company, the company was required to give two elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

 skins and two black beaver
Beaver
The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver and Eurasian Beaver . Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges . They are the second-largest rodent in the world...

 pelts to the English King, then Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

, or his heirs, whenever the monarch visits an area that was formerly Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

. The ceremony was first conducted with the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

) in 1927, then with King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 in 1939, and last with his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 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
Assiniboine Park
Assiniboine Park is a park in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was established in 1904 and is located north of the Assiniboine Forest. Today, it covers , of these are designed in the English landscape style....

. 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.

Corporate governance


Current members of the board of directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 of the Hudson's Bay Company are:
  • Bonnie Brooks
  • Francis Casale
  • Richard A. Baker
    Richard A. Baker (businessman)
    Richard Baker is the Governor and Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the oldest continuously operating retail company in North America, established in 1670...

  • Donald Watros
  • A. Mark Foote

Corporate Hierarchy


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 laborers. 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 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, the quality measurement of the pelt, was the denomination used by the 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, the governors of the 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 the Hudson’s Bay Company was able to be so successful while still having its central management and trade posts located so far apart..

Governors


From 1670 to 1970 the HBC Governors were British and based in London, England. After 1970, HBC was a Canadian headquartered company with a Canadian as Governor. Since 2006, the HBC has been led by an American and is now American owned.
  1. 1670–1682  Prince Rupert of the Rhine
    Prince Rupert of the Rhine
    Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

  2. 1683–1685  James Stuart, Duke of York
    James II of England
    James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

  3. 1685–1692  John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

  4. 1692–1696  Sir Stephen Evans
  5. 1696–1700  Sir William Trumbull
    William Trumbull
    Sir William Trumbull was an English statesman who held high office as a member of the First Whig Junto.-Biography:...

  6. 1700–1712  Sir Stephen Evans
  7. 1712–1743  Sir Bibye Lake, Sr.
  8. 1744–1746  Benjamin Pitt
  9. 1746–1750  Thomas Knapp
  10. 1750–1760  Sir Atwell Lake
  11. 1760–1770  Sir William Baker
    Sir William Baker
    Sir William Baker was an English businessman and politician.-References:*...

  12. 1770–1782  Sir Bibye Lake, Jr.
  13. 1782–1799  Samuel Wegg
  14. 1799–1807  Sir James Winter Lake
  15. 1807–1812  William Mainwaring
    William Mainwaring (English politician)
    William Mainwaring was, the MP for Middlesex from 1784 and chairman of the Middlesex and Westminster Quarter Sessions for a similar period.In the 1802 General election, he was opposed by the radical Francis Burdett. Mainwaring had previously resisted Burdett's calls for an inquiry into prison...

  16. 1812–1822  Joseph Berens
  17. 1822–1852  Sir John Henry Pelly
    Sir John Pelly, 1st Baronet
    Sir John Henry Pelly, 1st Baronet, DL was an English businessman. During most of his career, he was an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company , serving as Governor of the HBC for three decades. He held other noteworthy offices, including Governor of the Bank of England...

    in 1826, Simpson becomes governor of HBC
  18. 1852–1856  Robert Waznerboj Colvile
  19. 1856–1858  John Shepherd
  20. 1858–1863  Henry Hulse Berens
  21. 1863–1868  Sir Edmund Walker Head
    Edmund Walker Head
    Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8th Baronet, KCB was British colonial administrator.He was born at Wiarton Place, near Maidstone, Kent, the son of Reverend Sir John Head, 7th Bt. and Jane Head. He was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford. He succeeded to his father's title in 1838...

  22. 1868–1869  Simon Williams, 1st Earl of Kimberley
  23. 1869–1874  Sir Stafford Henry Northcote
  24. 1874–1880  George Joachim Goschen
  25. 1880–1889  Eden Colvile
    Eden Colvile
    Eden Colvile was born in Langley, near Beckenham, Kent, England, son of Andrew Colvile and Mary Louisa Eden. His father was a merchant and member of the Hudson's Bay Company's Board of Governors. Colvile was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge...

  26. 1889–1914  Donald Alexander Smith
  27. 1914–1915  Sir Thomas Skinner
  28. 1916–1925  Sir Robert Molesworth Kindersley
  29. 1925–1931  Charles Vincent Sale
  30. 1931–1952  Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper
  31. 1952–1965  William Keswick
  32. 1965–1970  Derick Heathcoat-Amory
  33. 1970–1982  George T. Richardson
  34. 1982–1994  Donald S. McGiverin
  35. 1994–1997  David E. Mitchell
  36. 1997–2006  L. Yves Fortier
  37. 2006–2008  Jerry Zucker
    Jerry Zucker (businessman)
    Jerry Zucker was an Israeli-born American businessman and philanthropist.-Biography:Jerry Zucker was the son of Holocaust survivors. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, chemistry, and physics and went on to earn his M.S...

  38. 2008 Anita Zucker
    Anita Zucker
    Anita Zucker was the first female Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, which was first incorporated in 1670, and also an owner of the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays. She is also a committed philanthropist.- Personal life :...

  39. 2008–Present Richard Baker
    Richard A. Baker (businessman)
    Richard Baker is the Governor and Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the oldest continuously operating retail company in North America, established in 1670...



Stores owned and operated by HBC


The Hudson's Bay Company is a parent company to several different retail and online stores, including:
  • The Bay
  • Zellers
    Zellers
    Zellers Inc. is Canada's second-largest chain of mass merchandise discount stores, with locations in communities across Canada. A subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company , it has 273 locations across the country....

  • Home Outfitters
    Home Outfitters
    Home Outfitters is Canada's largest kitchen, bed, and bath superstore, with 69 stores across the country selling bedding, towels, housewares, and other home accessories....

  • Fields
    Fields (department store)
    Fields is a brand of Canadian discount stores owned by Hudson's Bay Company, with 165 locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.- History :...



From 2004 until 2008, HBC also owned and operated a small chain of off-price stores called Designer Depot
Designer Depot
Designer Depot was a division of Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Company . It was created in November 2004, and sold by HBC in April 2008 to the INC Group of Companies. The first location opened as part of the Vaughan Mills Mall in Vaughan, Ontario. It is a large department store that sells brand...

. Similar to the Winners and Home Sense retail format, Designer Depot did not meet sales expectations, and its nine stores were sold.

Historic rivals

Years Company Fate
1551–1917 Muscovy Company
Muscovy Company
The Muscovy Company , was a trading company chartered in 1555. It was the first major chartered joint stock company, the precursor of the type of business that would soon flourish in England, and became closely associated with such famous names as Henry Hudson and William Baffin...

 
taken over by Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

1602–1800 Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 
went bankrupt
1621–1791 Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants. Among its founding fathers was Willem Usselincx...

 
bought by Dutch government
1672–1752 Royal African Company
Royal African Company
The Royal African Company was a slaving company set up by the Stuart family and London merchants once the former retook the English throne in the English Restoration of 1660...

 
replaced by African Company of Merchants
African Company of Merchants
The African Company of Merchants was a Chartered Company in the Gold Coast area of modern Ghana, in the coastal area where the Fante people lived...

1600–1858 Honourable East India Company  dissolved
1711–1850s South Sea Company  abolished
1808–1842 American Fur Company
American Fur Company
The American Fur Company was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1808. The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest businesses in the country. The company was one the first great trusts in American business...

 
folded
1779–1821 North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

 
merged with HBC
1799–1867 Russian American Company  folded with sale of Russian America to the U.S.

Official Outfitter


HBC was the official outfitter of clothing for members of the Canadian Olympic team in 1936, 1960, 1964, 1968, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The contract will end following the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

On March 2, 2005, the company was announced as the new clothing outfitter for the Canadian Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 team. The $100 million deal means that The Bay will provide clothing for the 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 games. The previous Canadian Olympic wear-supplier, Roots Canada Ltd.
Roots Canada Ltd.
Roots Canada Ltd. is a Canadian clothing and lifestyle products retailer. The retail stores sell Roots' own brand of products in Canada, the United States and Asia...

, ended its involvement with Canada's Olympic teams in 2004. HBC had been criticized for the way the 2008 Summer Olympics uniforms looked, and where they are made. Roots ensured that the clothes were made in Canada using Canadian material, whereas HBC is producing the clothes in Canada and China. Apparel for the 2010 Winter Olympics
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

 held in Vancouver prove to be extremely popular, particularly red-and-white mittens featuring a large maple leaf.

See also



  • HBC Rewards
    HBC Rewards
    HBC Rewards is a loyalty program where customers earn points for purchases at Hudson's Bay Company's various chains of stores in Canada, including Zellers, The Bay, Home Outfitters, HBC Telecommunications, and hbc.com, their online store...

  • Hudson's Bay tokens
    Hudson's Bay Tokens
    The Hudson's Bay Company tokens represented the unit of currency used in the fur trade for many decades. The largest - one "Made-Beaver" - was equal in value to the skin on an adult male beaver in good condition. Smaller sizes represented one-half, one-quarter, and one-eighth of a Made-Beaver...

  • List of Hudson's Bay Company brands
  • Muscovy Company
    Muscovy Company
    The Muscovy Company , was a trading company chartered in 1555. It was the first major chartered joint stock company, the precursor of the type of business that would soon flourish in England, and became closely associated with such famous names as Henry Hudson and William Baffin...

  • American Fur Company (Astoria Company)
    American Fur Company
    The American Fur Company was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1808. The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest businesses in the country. The company was one the first great trusts in American business...

  • John McLoughlin
    John McLoughlin
    Dr. John McLoughlin, baptized Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin, was the Chief Factor of the Columbia Fur District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. He was later known as the "Father of Oregon" for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest...

  • Sir James Douglas
    James Douglas (Governor)
    Sir James Douglas KCB was a company fur-trader and a British colonial governor on Vancouver Island in northwestern North America, particularly in what is now British Columbia. Douglas worked for the North West Company, and later for the Hudson's Bay Company becoming a high-ranking company officer...

  • List of Hudson's Bay Company trading posts
  • Columbia District
    Columbia District
    The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

  • Maritime Fur Trade
    Maritime Fur Trade
    The Maritime Fur Trade was a ship-based fur trade system that focused on acquiring furs of sea otters and other animals from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and natives of Alaska. The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain, and other Chinese...

  • New Caledonia
    New Caledonia (Canada)
    New Caledonia was the name given to a district of the Hudson's Bay Company that comprised the territory largely coterminous with the present-day province of British Columbia, Canada. Though not a British colony, New Caledonia was part of the British claim to North America. Its administrative...

  • British colonization of the Americas
    British colonization of the Americas
    British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

  • List of Canadian department stores
  • North-West Rebellion
    North-West Rebellion
    The North-West Rebellion of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people of the District of Saskatchewan under Louis Riel against the Dominion of Canada...

  • Red River Colony
    Red River Colony
    The Red River Colony was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. The colony along the Red River of the North was never very successful...

  • Voyageurs
    Voyageurs
    The Voyageurs were the persons who engaged in the transportation of furs by canoe during the fur trade era. Voyageur is a French word which literally translates to "traveler"...

  • Coureur des bois
    Coureur des bois
    A coureur des bois or coureur de bois was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian woodsman who traveled in New France and the interior of North America. They travelled in the woods to trade various things for fur....



Further reading


  • Strong-Boag, Veronica and Anita Clair Fellman, ed. Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1991.
  • Bryce, George. The Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company. . New York: B. Franklin, 1968.
  • Dillon, Richard H. Siskiyou Trail The Hudson's Bay Company Route to California. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. ISBN 0-07-016980-2
  • Hearne, Samuel. A Journey to the Northern Ocean: The Adventures of Samuel Hearne. Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2007.
  • MacKay, Douglas. The Honourable Company; A History of the Hudson's Bay Company. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1936.
  • Maurice, Edward Beauclerk. The Last of the Gentleman Adventurers. London: Harper Perennial, 2005 ISBN 0007171641
  • Murray, Alexander Hunter. Expedition to Build a Hudson's Bay Company Post on the Yukon. 1848.
  • Newman, Peter Charles. Empire of the Bay An Illustrated History of the Hudson's Bay Company. Markham, Ont: Viking Studio, 1989. ISBN 0-670-82969-2
  • Simmons, Deidre. Keepers of the Record The History of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7735-3291-5
  • Van Kirk, Sylvia. Many Tender Ties: Women in the Fur- Trade Society, 1670-1870. Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer Pub., 1980.
  • Van Kirk, Sylvia. "The Role of Native Women in the Fur Trade Society of Western Canada, 1670-1830." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 7, no. 3 (1984):9-13.
  • Willson, Beckles. The Great Company (1667–1871): A History of the Honourable Company of Merchants-adventurers Trading Into Hudson's Bay. London:Smith, Elder and Company, 1900.
  • White, Bruce. M. "The Woman who Married a Beaver: Trade Patterns and Gender Roles in the Ojibwa Fur Trade." Ethnohistory 46, no. 1 (Winter 1999): 109-147.


External links