Lord & Taylor will return from bankruptcy as a digital-first retailer in April under its new owner Saadia Group, according to multiple sources.
Known as the oldest department store in the U.S., Lord & Taylor has had a rocky couple of years. It was acquired by online apparel rental startup Le Tote from then owner Hudson’s Bay Co. for $100 million in August 2019, but Le Tote itself went bankrupt just a year later in August 2020. Investment firm Saadia Group bought the Lord & Taylor store inventory, intellectual property and ecommerce assets for $12 million in October 2020, but liquidation of all 38 Lord & Taylor stores and its website continued.
Now Saadia Group is planning Lord & Taylor’s revival with a revamped website that initially will focus on women’s and men’s apparel, homewares and beauty, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Childrenswear, fashion accessories and footwear will join the mix in the second half of 2021. Visitors to the website are currently greeted with the message “We’re working on something big,” and are invited to sign up to be notified when the new site launches.
There’s apparently no decision yet on whether physical stores will be part of Lord & Taylor’s future, although Jack Saadia, Principal and Co-founder of Saadia Group, told WWD he wasn’t averse to the idea. In the meantime, Saadia Group has subleased 41,000 square feet of office space at 275 Madison Avenue in New York City. The location will serve as the new headquarters of Lord & Taylor and New York & Company, which Saadia also acquired in October 2020.
“Lord & Taylor has a deep retail history that spans 195 years and a tradition of innovation and countless fashion firsts,” Saadia told WWD. “We are excited to build the future of the brand, expand the loyal community, and show the world what’s next.”
Saadia added that he is putting together a team of at least 40 merchants, IT, operations and finance experts to lead the next chapter of the department store, and is actively on the hunt for a President.