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Hudson's Bay Company

Company nameHudson's Bay Company
Company typeSubsidiary
Slogan"Great things for Canada!"
FoundedMay 2, 1670
HeadquartersSimpson Tower
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key peopleBaker, Governor
Revenue$7.0 billion CAD ((-) $59.7 million FY 2009)
ParentHudson's Bay Trading Company
DivisionsThe Bay
Home Outfitters

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The Hudson's Bay Company ( ), abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" ("La Baie" in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada. The company is headquartered in the Simpson Tower in Toronto, Ontario.

The company was incorporated by English royal charter in 1670 as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay and functioned as the de facto government in parts of North America before European states and later the United States laid claim to those territories. It was at one time the largest landowner in the world, with Rupert's Land having 15% of North American acreage. From its long time headquarters at York Factory on Hudson Bay, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of British-controlled North America for several centuries. Undertaking early exploration, its traders and trappers forged early relationships with many groups of First Nations/Native Americans. Its network of trading posts formed the nucleus for later official authority in many areas of Western Canada and the United States. 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, Zellers, Home Outfitters, and Fields. The Hudson's Bay Company Archives, a collection of the company's many records and maps, are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The company is owned by Hudson's Bay Trading Company, the portfolio company of the United States private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners, which also owns Lord & Taylor, a high-end department store chain in the U.S.

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