Hudson's Bay Co. , whose retail brands include Saks 5th Avenue and Lord & Taylor, said late Thursday that a more liberal return policy at its luxury discount e-commerce site Gilt drove down same-store sales growth for the second quarter. "[A]t Gilt, which is included in the HBC Off-Price business and is a major component of our digital comparisons, we enhanced the return policy," said Chief Executive Jerry Storch in a statement. "We believe the liberalized policy will enable us to forge longer and stronger relationships with our customers over the long term but will reduce reported net comparable sales in the short term." HBC Off Price, which also includes Saks Off 5th, reported a same-store sales decline of 11.4%. Reduced promotional activity at Saks Off 5th also contributed to the same-store sales decline, Storch said. Consolidated same-store sales increased 1.9%, with Hudson's Bay in Canada a standout. Hudson's Bay shares are inactive in premarket trading, but down 32.7% for the past year. The S&P 500 Index is up 4.8% for the last 12 months.
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