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Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy

Luxury department store chain Lord & Taylor along with its owner Le Tote sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after a turnaround effort faltered amid the pandemic. Sunday’s chapter 11 filings come less than a year after Le Tote acquired the retailer from Hudson’s Bay Co., the parent of Saks Fifth Avenue in a $100 million deal. 

  • Deal gone bad: The deal called for Hudson’s Bay to continue to own Lord & Taylor’s real estate and cover Le Tote’s rent at those properties for three years, NYTimes noted. Le Tote was founded in 2012, and rents women’s clothing and accessories for a flat monthly fee.
  • Covid was the straw that broke the camel’s back: Lord & Taylor temporarily closed its 38 bricks-and-mortar locations in March but has continued to operate through online channels.
  • Secular decline in retail accelerated: Lord & Taylor, is at least the tenth prominent retailer to file for bankruptcy since early May: Brooks Brothers, Sur La Table, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus Group, J.C. Penney, Lucky Brand, Stage Stores, GNC, and Ascena (owner of Ann Taylor and Loft), [Bloomberg+WSJ+NYTimes]

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