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Lord & Taylor is a luxury department store in the United States, and the oldest department store in the country.[3] Headquartered in New York City, it is a subsidiary of the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Canadian retail group Hudson's Bay Company ("HBC").[4][5][6] As of January 2012, there were 46 stores in operation.[7] By late August 2019, 38 stores were in operation; the flagship store in Manhattan and several other locations were closed in 2019.[8]

Lord & Taylor
Founded1826 (193 years ago) (1826)
HeadquartersNew York, New York, U.S.
Number of locations
38 (As of August 2019)[1], 1 L&T outlet (As of 2019)[2]
ProductsClothing, footwear, jewelry, beauty products, fragrances, electronics, bedding and housewares
OwnerNRDC Equity Partners
ParentHudson's Bay Company
SubsidiariesFind @ Lord & Taylor

On August 28, 2019, Hudson's Bay announced an agreement to sell Lord & Taylor to Le Tote Inc., a deal expected to be concluded prior to year end. Five of the 38 stores were to be closed, according to that plan.[9]


English-born Samuel Lord started a dry goods business in New York in 1824 and opened the original store that would become Lord & Taylor in 1826, on Catherine Street. The shop stocked hosiery, misses' wear, and cashmere shawls.[10] His cousin, George Washington Taylor, joined in 1834, and the store was named Lord & Taylor. James S. Taylor, Lord's brother-in-law, replaced George Taylor in 1845, and the store moved to Grand and Chrystie Streets in 1854.[11]

Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

In 1860, they opened a second store on Broadway at Grand Street, keeping the older store open.[10][11] Lord retired in 1862. In 1870, the Broadway store moved a mile uptown, to a new cast-iron building at Broadway and 20th Street, in the area known as the "Ladies' Mile".[10] The new store expanded around 1890 by annexing a building to east.[12] The downtown store continued to function, expanded through to Forsyth Street, and advertised until at least 1887 as a new building. Samuel Lord's estate sold the Grand Street store in 1901.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

The Starrett & van Vleck-designed Fifth Avenue store and headquarters opened between 38th and 39th streets on February 24, 1914.[21][22] The Broadway store was quickly sold, on March 26.[23] The Fifth Avenue store became a New York City Landmark on October 30, 2007.[24]

A founding unit of Associated Dry Goods, Lord & Taylor was considered to be its "crown jewel". When the May Company acquired ADG in 1986, it was assumed that May bought it just for the luxury division.[25][26]

20th centuryEdit

In 1945, Dorothy Shaver became the first woman to head a major retail establishment in the United States as president of Lord & Taylor.[27] As vice president working with the well-known design firm of Raymond Loewy Associates, she opened what is credited as the first ever branch store, in Manhasset, New York. Unlike earlier forays into the suburbs that consisted of smaller boutique-style shops, this was a merchandising effort that became the model for modern suburban shopping. The store consisted of 66 individual shops. Lord & Taylor's relationship with Raymond Loewy Associates continued until 1969, following the construction of the Stamford, Connecticut, store (designed by Loewy Vice President Andrew Geller).[28] Many of Lord & Taylor's special services, including personal shoppers, were introduced while Shaver presided.[29]

Lord & Taylor at night

During this period she introduced the Andrew Geller hand written logo and the American Beauty Rose as icons of the store. Shaver died in 1959.[27][30][31]

William J. Lippincott was elected chairman and chief executive in 1972. His obituary in The New York Times read: "In his years as president and chairman, Lord & Taylor moved beyond its traditional territory in the northeast to open stores in Atlanta, Houston and Dallas and four stores in Illinois."[32][33] A management shakeup ousted him in 1976.[34]

Under the leadership of CEO Joseph E. Brooks during the 1970s, the company aggressively expanded into Texas, Illinois and Michigan; in the early 1980s, South Florida saw 11 stores opened in quick succession. The chain partially withdrew from the oil-shocked Texas and southern Florida markets in 1989–1990 after its 1986 acquisition by May.[35] Under May, the majority of the upscale Hahne & Co., Wanamaker's, and Woodward & Lothrop chains were converted to Lord & Taylor.[36][37][38]

21st centuryEdit

Jane T. Elfers became Lord & Taylor's second female president in June 2000.[39] Former Neiman Marcus executive, Brendan Hoffman replaced her in October 2008, when Elfer's contract had expired.[40] A third female president, Bonnie Brooks, took over in 2011, and a fourth female president, Liz Rodbell, took over in 2013.[41][42]

Lord & Taylor entrance to the Livingston Mall

Federated Department Stores, now Macy's Inc, acquired May Department Stores on August 30, 2005. On January 12, 2006, Federated chairman, president, and CEO Terry Lundgren announced that Lord & Taylor would be sold by the end of the year.[43] In a move that took advantage of valuable real estate, Federated announced on March 10, 2006, that seven conflicting Lord & Taylor locations would either close or downscale into Macy's.[44] The legendary Center City, Philadelphia store, former flagship of the John Wanamaker chain, opened after a one-month renovation as Macy's City Center on August 1, 2006. On June 22, 2006, NRDC Equity Partners, LLC announced it would purchase Lord & Taylor for $1.2 billion after Federated converted and closed the seven locations that it previously announced were closing; the sale completed in October 2006.[45] Federated continued to service Lord & Taylor consumer credit accounts in an agreement with NRDC under the terms of its sale until mid-2007.

On July 16, 2008, NRDC Equity Partners announced that it had purchased the 338-year-old Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) for an undisclosed price, with the intention of expanding internationally, and positioned Lord & Taylor under HBC. The combined HBC, as of February 2018, consisted of Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters in Canada, Galeria Kaufhof in Germany, and Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States.[46][47]

HBC committed to spend an additional $250 million upgrading stores. The Fifth Avenue flagship store received a $150 million update in 2010.[48] In March 2017, Lord & Taylor partnered with Brideside to launch an in-store bridal shop.[49] In April 2017, Lord & Taylor completed a $12 million renovation plan at the Fifth Avenue store,[50] however in October 2017 they announced that they were selling the building to WeWork for $850 million.[51] In February 2019 the sale completed for $725 million in cash and the remainder in equity, forming a joint venture with Lord & Taylor was minority owners.[52]

On April 1, 2018, the Hudson Bay Company gave notice of a theft of customers credit and debit cards due to a hacking incident. A hacking group, known as JokerStash or Fin7, was attempting to sell the information from five million stolen customer credentials on dark web sites during the last week of March 2018. The company noted that the majority of the compromised records appeared to be from Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue customers. The Hudson Bay Company noted that customers would not be liable for any charges incurred due to his breach and they will offer no cost credit report monitoring and identity protection services.[53]

In May 2018 it was announced that Walmart would begin carrying Lord & Taylor products on their website.[54] A few weeks later, HBC announced they would be closing up to ten Lord & Taylor stores, including the 5th Avenue location, amid declining store sales.[55] The New York flagship store closed on January 2, 2019.[56]

Industry observers connected the closures and the sale of the flagship store to intense competition from online retailers and high debt at HBC.[57] Lord & Taylor announced additional closings in Oakbrook Center, Monmouth Mall, Gaithersburg, and Sterling Heights.[58]

Planned sale to Le ToteEdit

In May 2019 HBC announced it was seeking strategic alternatives for the Lord & Taylor business.[59] In August 2019, the company found a buyer for the chain, Le Tote, Inc. for C$99.5 million ($75 million) in cash on closing and an additional C$33.2 million ($25 million) two years later. HBC was to get a 25% equity stake in Le Tote.[60][61] The buyer would retain the stores' inventory, with an estimated value of C$284.2 million. The deal, expected to close before year end, required HBC to pay the stores' rent for at least three years, at an estimated C$77 million ($58 million) cash per year.[62][63][64]


Logo historyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "lord-taylor-sold-for-100-million-to-clothing-rental-company-le-tote/". CBS News.
  2. ^ "Lord & Taylor expanding". Merchandising Matters. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "Lord & Taylor vs. Nordstrom: Better shopping experience?". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company chartered May 02, 1670". Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor Might Go Private". Fortune. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  6. ^ "Hudson's Bay cutting 2,000 positions in North America". The Star. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "Hudson's Bay completes Lord & Taylor acquisition". Reuters.
  8. ^ "Iconic but troubled Lord & Taylor sold to clothing rental subscription company Le Tote". CNN. August 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Hudson's Bay selling Lord & Taylor for $100 million to Le Tote". Financial Post.
  10. ^ a b c Burrows, Edwin G. & Wallace, Mike (1999). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b "America's Successful Men of Affairs:An Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous Biography (Samuel Lord entry)". New York: Tribune. 1895. p. 403. Archived from the original on May 5, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017 – via
  12. ^ "Attractive to Shoppers (Lord & Taylor)". The New York Times. October 15, 1891. p. 8. Retrieved May 5, 2017 – via  .
  13. ^ "Lord & Taylor (Advertisement)". New York Times. March 10, 1879. Retrieved May 5, 2017 – via  .
  14. ^ The Christian Union. New York: J.B. Ford & Company. April 17, 1878. p. 331 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ The Evening Post Record of Real Estate Sales in Greater New York. January 1, 1901.
  16. ^ "Dresses, Furs, and Bonnets (Lord & Taylor)". The New York Times. October 8, 1880. p. 8. Retrieved May 5, 2017 – via  .
  17. ^ "Our New Building - Lord & Taylor". The New York Times. December 5, 1887. p. 8. Retrieved May 5, 2017 – via  .
  18. ^ Morrone, Francis (December 27, 2007) "A Landmark Department Store" The New York Sun
  19. ^ "Dear Lord & Taylor, Retail's Resting Place". Observer. September 11, 2006. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  20. ^ "Vintage Fashion Guild : Label Resource : Lord & Taylor". Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  28. ^ "Cooper Union Alumni Association | Alumni Profile: Andrew Geller, AR'49, and Shirley Geller, A'44". Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  30. ^ "Miss Shaver Dead; Led Lord & Taylor; Dorothy Shaver Is Dead at 66; Headed Lord & Taylor Since' 45". The New York Times. June 29, 1959. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  31. ^ "RETAIL TRADE: Fifth Avenue's First Lady". Time. December 31, 1945. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  33. ^ "W. J. Lippincott, 73; Headed Lord & Taylor". The New York Times. May 7, 1992. p. B17. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  34. ^ "New Lord & Taylor Team Plans Expansion". The New York Times. 1972. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  35. ^ "Mervyn's to acquire five Lord & Taylor stores in Florida". UPI. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  36. ^ Pressler, Margaret Webb (August 29, 1995). "AT WOODIES, TAKING STOCK BEFORE A FINAL SALES BLITZ". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  40. ^ Kapner, Suzanne (September 26, 2008). "Shakeup at Lord & Taylor". CNN. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  41. ^ "2017 Commencement Speaker: Liz Rodbell, President of Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor". Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  42. ^ "Bonnie Brooks adds top job at Lord & Taylor". Financial Post. January 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  43. ^ Edelson, David Moin, Sharon (January 13, 2006). "Retail's Changing World: Federated Opts to Put Lord & Taylor on Block". WWD. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  48. ^ "Retail Renewal: More Renovations In Store For Lord & Taylor On Fifth Avenue". The Shophound. March 27, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  49. ^ McClay, Rebecca (March 21, 2017). "Lord & Taylor Launches In-Store Bridal Shop". Investopedia. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  50. ^ Noto, Anthony (April 3, 2017). "Lord & Taylor may turn its 103-year-old landmark store into a steel-and-glass skyscraper". New York Business Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
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  53. ^ O’Brien, Matt (April 1, 2018). "Data breach hits Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor stores". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
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  55. ^ "Hudson's Bay to close up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores, including Fifth Avenue in New York". Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  56. ^, Flagship Lord and Taylor store officially closes in Manhattan
  57. ^ "How Hudson's Bay Company looks to pay off its debt and revitalize its stores". Glossy. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  58. ^ Levine-Weinberg, Adam (June 10, 2019). "Lord & Taylor Confirms 2 More Store Closures: More Will Follow -". The Motley Fool. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
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  60. ^, Hudson's Bay to sell Lord + Taylor for $100 million
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  62. ^, Sale concludes HBC’s review of strategic alternatives for Lord + Taylor business
  63. ^, Not a 'clean exit': Hudson's Bay sells historic Lord & Taylor for $133 million
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External linksEdit