The “Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay” were given wide powers. This included exclusive trading rights in the territory traversed by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay named Rupert’s Land.
Struggle for Control of Fur Trade
1670 - 1763
Until 1763, HBC struggled with the French for control of the fur trade in southern Rupert’s Land.
Relinquishing Colonial Responsibilities
1812 - 1834
The governors of Assiniboia were agents of the Selkirk estate, although they were overshadowed by the HBC. In 1834, the company resumed jurisdiction and, until transfer to Canada, provided the Selkirk colony’s government.
New Organizational Structure
1826 - 1860
British North America was divided into trading departments, which were then subdivided into districts. District managers met annually in departmental council meetings presided over by the governor In North America.
The HBC invested in the construction of new retail stores, recognizing that this department had a greater future potential than land sales and fur trade. The first of the company’s “original six” department stores were opened in Calgary that year.
Beginning in 1994, HBC’s chain of Zellers stores faced fierce competition from its American rival Wal-Mart. They later, in 2012, due to Wal-Mart’s prices and name, had closed down most of their locations in Canada.
2000 - 2009
In 2005, HBC began its partnership with the COC and named the Official Department Store and General Merchandise Store Operator in Canada. The partnership was renewed in 2011 and will continue to 2020.
21st Century Expansion
HBC secured franchise rights for the trendy UK-based fashion retailer Topshop and Topman to the delight of Canadian sartorial devotees.
Branding and Logos
In 2013, HBC’s logo underwent a significant overhaul, using a wordmark from the HBC red ensign. This was an effort to acknowledge the company’s rich heritage and role in Canadian History.
In 2017, the HBC Foundation launched in the United States and announced that its charitable work would focus on mental health programs in the U.S. and Canada.