Will a buyer step up for Lord & Taylor?
Lord & Taylor may have survived as a business for nearly two centuries, but the retailer hasn’t thrived for decades. Now, it’s up for sale. HBC, Lord & Taylor’s parent company, announced yesterday that it intends to pursue strategic alternatives for the department store retailer “including a possible sale or merger.”
HBC is looking to offload Lord & Taylor to cut costs and concentrate on properties such as Saks, which show greater promise.
“Lord & Taylor is a storied brand that has stood for quality, style and service for many years and serves a highly engaged, loyal customer base through a dedicated team of associates,” said Helena Foulkes, HBC’s CEO, in a statement. “Throughout the review, Lord & Taylor remains committed to serving customers across our stores and digital channels.”
The chain, which currently operates more than 40 stores in the northeastern U.S. and the mid-Atlantic states, has struggled to keep its business on the right path since before Federated Department Stores sold it to NRDC Equity Partners in 2006. NRDC later acquired Hudson’s Bay Co., now HBC, in 2008.
More recently, Lord & Taylor has made headlines for closing its flagship store at 38th St. and 5th Ave. in Manhattan. HBC sold the 11-story building, which opened in 1914, to WeWork for more than $850 million.
The department store has also partnered with Walmart to sell goods as part of that retailer’s plan to create an online mall that goes beyond its namesake banner and other company-owned brands, including Bonobos, Eloquii, Jet.com, ModCloth, Moosejaw and Shoebuy.
- HBC to Review Strategic Alternatives for Lord + Taylor – HBC
- Retailers are shutting down their NYC flagships – RetailWire
- Walmart to open web mall with Lord & Taylor as an anchor – RetailWire
- Our Story + Our Future – Lord + Taylor
- NRDC Equity snaps up Hudson’s Bay Co – Reuters
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Lord & Taylor will generate a lot of interest as a possible acquisition for other retailers or investment firms? What will it take to put the department store chain on solid footing with growth potential going forward?