Hudson's Bay: Even employee discounts affected by lower dollar

TORONTO -- Cross-border shopping in the United States isn't so hot anymore, even when you've got an employee discount.

That's according to the CEO of Hudson's Bay Co.

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(TSX:HBC), who says his own Canadian staff appear to be skipping out on the perks of saving an extra percentage off the store's prices in the United States at their Saks and Lord and Taylor stores.

Jerry Storch told analysts in a conference call that currency exchange rates have become "one of the biggest issues" for the department store chain as it faces a slowdown of international tourists.

He says the higher U.S. dollar -- and lower loonie -- has left a visible impact on customer traffic at Saks Off Fifth outlet stores near the Canadian border.

Hudson's Bay cut its sales outlook for 2015 and 2016 based partly on exchange rates and the aftermath of terrorism in Europe, which has affected traffic at its stores in Belgium and Germany.

The company reduced its 2015 sales forecast to a range of US$10.7 billion to $11.2-billion, from its previous expectation of $11-billion to $11.5-billion.

Sales guidance for 2016 has been pulled back to $14.2-billion to $15.2-billion from $14.5-billion to $15.5-billion.


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