|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 a department store in the United States, the oldest department store in the country. Headquartered in New York City, it is a subsidiary of the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Hudson's Bay Company.
English-born Samuel Lord 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 and the store moved to Grand and Chrystie Streets 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 expanded around 1890 by annexing a building to east. The downtown store continued to function, expanded through to Forsyth Street, and advertised until at least 1887 as a new building. Samuel Lord's estate sold the Grand Street store in 1901. The Starrett & van Vleck-designed 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 on October 30, 2007. A founding unit of Associated Dry Goods, Lord & Taylor was considered to be its "crown jewel". When the May Company acquired ADG in 1986, it was assumed that May bought it just for the luxury division. As of February 2018, Lord & Taylor has 50 locations across the United States. Each store is individually designed with a contrast of classical and contemporary elements.
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 refitted for Lord & Taylor.
Jane Elfers became Lord & Taylor's second female president in June 2000. Former Neiman Marcus executive, Brendan Hoffman replaced her in October 2008. According to HBC executive chairman, Richard Baker, Elfer's contract had expired. A third female president, Bonnie Brooks, took over in 2011, and a fourth female president, Liz Rodbell, took over in 2013.
Federated Department Stores, now Macy's Inc, acquired May Department Stores 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, NRDC Equity Partners, LLC announced it would purchase Lord & Taylor for $1.2 billion after Federated converted and closed the seven locations that it previously announced were closing; the sale 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. The Fifth Avenue flagship store received a $150 million update in 2010. Lord & Taylor reported a jump in sales after most of May's stores took on the Macy's and Bloomingdale's nameplates in 2006. On July 16, 2008, NRDC Equity Partners announced that it had purchased the 338-year-old Hudson's Bay Company for an undisclosed price. The combined company, as of February 2018, consists of Gilt Groupe online, Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters in Canada, Galeria Kaufhof in Germany, and Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the United States. In March 2017, Lord & Taylor partnered with Brideside to launch an in-store bridal shop. In April 2017, Lord & Taylor completed a $12 million renovation plan at the Fifth Avenue store. In December 2017, HBC announced that the Lord & Taylor store at Old Orchard Center in suburban Chicago would close in April 2018. In March 2019, Lord & Taylor will open a location at the American Dream Meadowlands project in Bergen County, New Jersey.
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 store in Westchester County at Westchester's Ridge Hill. The Ridge Hill store was designed by architect Giorgio Borruso. It opened in April 2012 and brought 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 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.
On April 1, 2018 the Hudson Bay Company gave notice of a theft of customers credit and debit cards due to a hacking incident. A hacking group, known as JokerStash or Fin7, was attempting to sell the information from five million stolen customer credentials on dark web sites during the last week of March 2018. The company noted that the majority of the compromised records appeared to be from Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue customers. The Hudson Bay Company noted that customers would not be liable for any charges incurred due to his breach and they will offer no cost credit report monitoring and identity protection services.
The company's headquarters and flagship store at 424 Fifth Avenue to be sold to a joint venture of WeWork.
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