Hudson's Bay Co. may sell its Lord and Taylor business as it embarks on a review of strategic alternatives for the U.S.-based department store chain.

The review "is another example of how we are exploring options to position HBC for long-term success," said HBC's chief executive Helena Foulkes in a statement. The company hired a financial adviser for the review and is "committed to working through it as efficiently as possible".

It could result in a sale or merger, the company said.

Lord and Taylor, which operates more than 40 stores south of the border, had $1.4 billion in annual revenue in 2018. It also runs an online business, which sells clothing and accessories.

The chain remains committed to serving its customers throughout the review, Foulkes said.

HBC has been working to simplify its organization, strengthen its retail operations and unlock the value of its real estate assets, the company said.

It announced in February that its Canadian retail banner, Home Outfitters, will be discontinued and its 37 locations will be closed this year. The closure would help it reduce costs and improve overall profitability, it said.

The retailer also said about 20 Saks Off Fifth locations will be closed in the United States.

HBC later announced its president, Alison Coville, would step down as of March 1. She had started in the position in June 2017 and as part of her duties oversaw the Home Outfitters brand.

Canada's oldest retailer has struggled in recent years with disappointing earnings reports and a battle with activist investor Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC.