Lord & Taylor reportedly plans to liquidate inventory across its 38 remaining locations once its stores reopen, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The retailer is reportedly preparing for bankruptcy and does not expect to survive the challenges created by COVID-19.
However, the company is waiting until it can attract shoppers to its stores before it makes any filings, according to the sources. The retailer has reportedly lined up liquidators for “going out of business” sales and will permanently close its doors afterwards.
Lord & Taylor has also been exploring other options, including negotiating relief from creditors and finding additional financing, and the sources say the right intervention could save the venerable department store from liquidation.
Social distancing and the economic downturn created by the pandemic are expected to weigh down multiple retailers, particularly those that were struggling beforehand. Lord & Taylor lost its CEO and closed down several locations in 2019 due to poor sales performance, including its New York City flagship.
The retailer was sold to Le Tote for $99.5 million in August 2019 as part of the e-Commerce rental service’s attempt to break into brick-and-mortar. Lord & Taylor temporarily returned to New York with a holiday pop-up store in December 2019, , but Le Tote was unable to reverse the company’s fortunes before the coronavirus hit.