Hudson’s Bay says their Queen Street location will be closed starting Tuesday after remaining open on Monday to shoppers despite Toronto being in a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, the company said that while curbside pickup is being offered at some of its locations, they considered the Queen Street store to be an essential service because it “offers grocery.”
In an updated statement Monday evening, the retailer said they “reviewed closely to ensure compliance and, as such, closed all our stores in Toronto and Peel but one, which contained a grocery store.”
“We understood this to be in line with the province’s direction, however, we have now made the decision to close our Queen Street store tomorrow,” the company said in an email. “All Hudson’s Bay stores in Toronto and Peel will offer shoppers curbside pickup.”
At Premier Doug Ford’s daily briefing Monday morning, Ford said he was unaware of the store being open.
“I’d have to look into it and find out what they’re actually selling,” the premier said.
“Are they selling hardware within the Bay? Are they selling any other critical items [food]? Nothing is fair about this but I am doing everything I can to protect the small businesses out there.”
In a follow up the Ford government released the following statement:
“The inclusion of discount and big box retailers selling groceries is intended to include retail with a full grocery store component. This would include Walmart and Costco for example, but not The Bay or IKEA.”
On its website, the Bay on Queen describes its various products and services as including “[the] largest selection of home products including furniture, mattresses and major appliances” along with a Nespresso Boutique and Oliver & Bonacini restaurant.
As of Monday, the retailer has not listed grocery items, services or produce as one of its many offerings.