Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, New York, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern United States, the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods (later renamed Associated Dry Goods Corp.). Today, the chain is the sole surviving department store nameplate from Associated, as well as from May Department Stores. Lord & Taylor is wholly owned and operated by NRDC Equity Partners. NRDC bought the chain from Federated Department Stores in October 2006 as Federated sought to concentrate on the Macy's chain after their purchase of May Department Stores (with all other former May department store nameplates having been converted to Macy's), and because the Lord & Taylor brand conflicted with Federated's Macy's and Bloomingdale's brands.
Following its acquisition of Lord & Taylor, NRDC Equity Partners has since acquired Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. In 2008, NRDC's portfolio of retail companies became components of a new multinational limited partnership, Hudson's Bay Trading Company, L.P.
Lord & Taylor consists of 48 stores and lordandtaylor.com
Over two months ago, I went to visit my son in Boston, Ma. For the first time visiting him, I decide to go to Lord & Taylor Department store. The selection of clothing was fantastic. I found 2 beautiful tops and a pretty sweater for a great deal that was to good to be true. I got 25% off with the friends and family coupon for the sale that was going on those days.
I found out while over there, that Lord and Taylor is opening a new store soon.
The 48-unit chain announced that it has signed on for an 80,000-square-foot, bi-level store in Yonkers, N.Y. The new site, set to open in 2012, will be part of the Ridge Hill outdoor shopping center currently under construction by Forest City Enterprises.
“Westchester's Ridge Hill is the perfect location for Lord & Taylor to further service our southern Westchester customers, and I am encouraged by the business potential for this store,” said Brendan Hoffman, Lord & Taylor's chief executive, in a statement.
The 1.3 million-square-foot Ridge Hill center also includes Whole Foods, L.L. Bean, Sephora and The Cheesecake Factory.
The last store the 184-year-old department store opened was in the Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Va., in 2001.
Recently, Lord & Taylor made headlines by announcing they would be entering the off-price outlet market. The company, which is owned by Hudson's Bay Trading Co., also recently spent more than $20 million renovating its Fifth Avenue flagship, brightening the main floor and adding new departments such as home furnishings and bridal apparel.
Though department stores have been continually losing market share to specialty apparel stores—last year, sales in the sector fell 11% to $67.1 billion, the biggest drop since 1987, according to Kantar Retail—the sector has recently shown signs of a turnaround. Over the Black Friday shopping weekend, traffic at department stores increased to 52% of all retail foot traffic, compared with 49.4% last year, reported the National Retail Federation.
But retail experts do not predict a mad rush by Lord & Taylor and its department store peers for more space.
“Across the retail landscape, department stores included, there's going to be very limited opportunities for store expansion and new store openings in the next few years,” said Mary Brett Whitfield, a senior vice president at Kantar. “Any new department stores will be the exception not the rule.”
She noted that most stores are looking for alternative growth strategies beyond domestic real estate expansion. Such strategies include a greater emphasis on e-commerce sites, additional development of new concept stores, and advancement overseas.