|Headquarters||New York, New York, U.S.|
Number of locations
|50,+4 L&T outlets|
|Products||Clothing, footwear, jewelry, beauty products, fragrances, electronics, bedding and housewares|
|Owner||NRDC Equity Partners|
|Parent||Hudson's Bay Company|
|Subsidiaries||Find @ Lord & Taylor|
Lord & Taylor is the oldest luxury department store in the United States, headquartered in New York City. It is a subsidiary of the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Hudson's Bay Company.
Lord & Taylor consists of 50 "flagship" and "destination" locations, four L&T outlets, and the Lord & Taylor website which ships internationally.
English-born Samuel Lord (1803–1889) started a dry goods business in New York in 1824, and opened the original store that would become Lord & Taylor in 1826, on Catherine Street. The shop stocked hosiery, misses' wear, and cashmere shawls. His cousin, George Washington Taylor, joined in 1834, and the store was named Lord Taylor. Sames S. Taylor, Lord's brother-in-law, replaced George Taylor in 1845. The store moved to Grand Street and Chrystie Street in 1854.
In 1860, they opened a second store on Broadway at Grand Street, keeping the older store open. Lord retired in 1862. In 1870 the Broadway store moved a mile uptown, to a new cast-iron building at Broadway and 20th Street, in the area known as the "Ladies' Mile". The new store was expanded around 1890 by annexing a building to east. The downtown store continued to function, expanded through to Forsyth St, and advertised until at least 1887 as a new building. The Grand Street store was sold by Samuel Lord's estate in 1901.
The iconic Starrett & van Vleck Fifth Avenue store and headquarters opened between 38th and 39th streets on February 24, 1914. The Broadway store was quickly sold, on March 26. The Fifth Avenue store became a New York City Landmark in December 2007.
A founding member of Associated Dry Goods, Lord & Taylor was considered to be their "crown jewel". When the May Company acquired ADG in 1986, it was assumed that May bought them just for their luxury division. Today Lord & Taylor has grown to 50 locations across the United States, each store has a distinctive contrast of classical and contemporary elements and are designed one of a kind.
In 1945, Dorothy Shaver became the first woman to head a major retail establishment in the United States as president of Lord & Taylor. As vice president working with the well-known design firm of Raymond Loewy Associates, she opened what is credited as the first ever branch store, in Manhasset, New York. Unlike earlier forays into the suburbs that consisted of smaller boutique-style shops, this was a merchandising effort that became the model for modern suburban shopping. The store consisted of 66 individual shops. Lord & Taylor's relationship with Raymond Loewy Associates continued until 1969, following the construction of the Stamford, Connecticut, store (designed by Loewy Vice President Andrew Geller).
Many of Lord & Taylor's special services, including personal shoppers, were introduced while Shaver presided. During this period she introduced the Andrew Geller hand written logo and the American Beauty Rose as icons of the store. Shaver died in 1959.
William J. Lippincott was elected chairman and chief executive in 1972. His obituary in The New York Times read: "In his years as president and chairman, Lord & Taylor moved beyond its traditional territory in the northeast to open stores in Atlanta, Houston and Dallas and four stores in Illinois." A management shakeup ousted him in 1976. Under the leadership of CEO Joseph E. Brooks during the 1970s, the company aggressively expanded into Texas, Illinois and Michigan; in the early 1980s, South Florida saw 11 stores opened in quick succession. The chain partially withdrew from the oil-shocked Texas and southern Florida markets in 1989–1990 after its 1986 acquisition by May. Under May, the majority of the upscale Hahne & Co., Wanamaker's, and Woodward & Lothrop chains were converted to Lord & Taylor.
Starting in June 2000, Jane Elfers served as Lord & Taylor's second female president. She was replaced in October 2008 by former Neiman Marcus executive, Brendan Hoffman. According to HBC executive chairman, Richard Baker, her contract had expired. A third female president, Bonnie Brooks, took over in 2011, and a fourth female president, Liz Rodbell, took over in 2013.
In July 2003, Lord & Taylor's leadership sought to highlight the stores contemporary heritage. Many existing locations underwent full renovations and some have also been expanded. Additional changes included the transformation of many Lord & Taylor Signature Restaurants into the more posh Sarabeth's Restaurant. Sarabeth's opened inside the Fifth Avenue store in the fall of 2008. The fifth floor has a full-service Sarabeth's Restaurant while the sixth floor has a Sarabeth's Coffee Bar.
Owner May Department Stores was acquired by Federated Department Stores, now Macy's Inc, on August 30, 2005. On January 12, 2006, Federated chairman, president, and CEO Terry Lundgren announced that Lord & Taylor would be sold by the end of the year. In a move that took advantage of valuable real estate, Federated announced on March 10, 2006 that seven conflicting Lord & Taylor locations would either close or downscale into Macy's. (Christiana Mall, Delaware; Water Tower Place, Illinois; Northshore Mall, Massachusetts; Fairlane Town Center, Michigan; West County Center and St. Louis Galleria, Missouri; and Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.) The legendary Center City, Philadelphia store, former flagship of the John Wanamaker chain, opened after a one-month renovation as Macy's City Center on August 1, 2006. On June 22, 2006, it was announced that NRDC Equity Partners, LLC would purchase Lord & Taylor for $1.2 billion after Federated converted and closed the seven locations that they had previously announced, the sale was completed in October 2006. Federated continued to service Lord & Taylor consumer credit accounts in an agreement with NRDC under the terms of its sale until mid-2007.
In addition to continuing the campaign announced by May in 2003, NRDC committed to spend an additional $250 million upgrading stores. Lord & Taylor reported a jump in sales after most of May's stores took on the Macy's and Bloomingdale's nameplates in 2006. The Fifth Avenue flagship store received a $150 million update in 2010.
On July 16, 2008, NRDC Equity Partners announced that it had purchased the 338-year-old commercial corporation The Hudson's Bay Company for an undisclosed price, with the intention of expanding internationally. HBC operates nearly 600 stores under four banners from coast to coast. The Hudson's Bay store in Toronto is the largest store in Canada at nearly 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) making it also one of the largest stores in the world. The combined company today consists of Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters in Canada, Galeria Kaufhof in Germany, and luxury banners Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States.
Women's Wear Daily reported in September 2010 that sources within the company were searching for additional space in Westchester County. The Scarsdale location is a moderately high performer but does not allow space for significant expansion. In December 2010, Lord & Taylor announced it would open a second "destination" store in Westchester County at Westchester's Ridge Hill. The Ridge Hill store was designed by architect Giorgio Borruso. It opened on April 13, 2012, bringing the total number of full-line locations to 48. Another store was announced for the Boston Metropolitan area, to be located at the Mall at Rockingham Park. That location opened in March 2012 and brought the total number of full-line locations to 47. In October 2011 a store was announced for Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Florida. The store opened in the fall of 2013 and brought the total number of full-line locations to 49. In August 2013, a new store for New York's Capital District was announced to be located at Crossgates Mall. The store opened in September 2014 and is the 50th full-line location. In the summer of 2020, Lord & Taylor will open its 51st full-line location at the American Dream Meadowlands project in Bergen County, New Jersey.
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