The gradual demise of Lord & Taylor is finally coming to an end. America’s oldest department store, which has been struggling for decades, will close its remaining stores.

Even though store closings go on and on all over the country, some of them are more poignant than others. Lord and Taylor, a store chain that has struggled for years because of declining retail shopping and now the pandemic, has announced the closing of all of its remaining 38 locations, including nine remaining NJ locations.

Lord and Taylor was the first—the oldest department store chain in the country. Founded 194 years ago, customers, especially women, always depended on it for solid, even slightly upscale quality merchandise. But even though it wasn’t intimidating like Bloomingdale’s or Saks Fifth Avenue could be, it certainly felt a step up from Macy’s.

Lord & Taylor, which began as a Manhattan dry goods store in 1824, was sold to the French rental clothing company Le Tote Inc last year.

Both filed for bankruptcy protection, separately, in the Eastern Court of Virginia in August 2020.

Lord & Taylor is currently holding their going-out-of-business sales right now. Everything will be sold, including the fixtures, equipment, and furniture.

Dozens of retailers, big and small, have filed for Chapter 11 protection this year. The pace through the first half of 2020 far exceeds the number of retail bankruptcies for all of last year.

About two dozen stores have sought bankruptcy protection since the pandemic started.

They include J. Crew, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, Stage Stores, and Ascena Retail Group, which owns Lane Bryant in addition to Ann Taylor.

The owner of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank also filed for bankruptcy on the same day as Lord & Taylor. It wasn’t alone.

Source: AWM

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