Lord & Taylor is preparing to close up shop at the Fifth Avenue address it has called home for 104 years — and in the meantime, it hopes to clear out inventory with a final closing sale.
The department store announced in June that it would shutter the flagship location and hand over the building to the co-working company WeWork, which purchased the 650,000-square-foot landmark for $850 million in 2017 to house its global headquarters. Initially, Lord & Taylor planned to continue operating on the lower floors through a leasing arrangement but changed course and will now shutter at the end of the year, part of a larger plan to streamline the business, offload pricey real estate and invest more in e-commerce.
Signs in the store’s windows, long known for their extravagant holiday displays, indicate that the retailer will kick off its closing sale on Thursday, giving the retailer a head start on the holiday rush that competitors will ramp up in earnest in the coming months. Lord & Taylor will limit its holiday decor to two windows rather than the usual six and will dedicate them to thanking New York shoppers for generations of business.
Parent Hudson’s Bay Co. announced that it would cut the retailer’s store count by up to 10, representing about a fifth of its total. At the same time, Lord & Taylor has expanded its digital footprint, launching on Walmart.com this summer, part of a partnership that puts the department store’s wares in front of a huge swath of American consumers, while expanding Walmart’s fashion and beauty offerings.