Lord + Taylor’s social media accounts have gone dark.
The century-old retailer appears to have deleted its Twitter and Instagram accounts. While its Facebook page is still visible, there has not been a new post since March 27, one month ago. A representative from the company told FN today that that it is “working through various options at this time” but declined to provide further comment.
According to reports, Lord + Taylor is seriously considering a post-pandemic liquidation. The department store chain’s 38 units have been shut since mid-March, with store associates furloughed until the company can reopen its doors. In addition, the retailer, which is owned by fashion rental service Le Tote, saw the bulk of its executive team resign earlier this month, including president Ruth Hartman. Further, Le Tote confirmed to FN at the time that it had implemented “significant company-wide layoffs” across both Le Tote and Lord + Taylor “with only key employees remaining to preserve the business.”
Before announcing its plans to sell Lord + Taylor to Le Tote for $75 million in late August, previous owner Hudson’s Bay Company had struggled for some time to revive the mid-tier department store chain amid declining comps. (Also part of the Le Tote-Lord + Taylor merger was a secured promissory note for $CA33.2 million, or $25 million, after two years.)
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HBC, which sealed the deal on its own go-private plans in January, memorably shuttered Lord + Taylor’s 100-year-old flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue in 2019, closed another 10 of its 48 stores and dabbled in a number of omnichannel initiatives, including an unlikely digital partnership with Walmart in 2018.
The pandemic has hit department stores hard. With stores forced to shutter, companies including Macy’s and Nordstrom have taken numerous steps to preserve cash flow, including furloughing store staff, cutting executive pay, trimming expenses and tapping into revolving credit lines. Already struggling amid waning foot traffic and the growth of e-commerce — similar to Lord + Taylor — JCPenney and Neiman Marcus Group are facing bankruptcy headwinds. Neiman Marcus Group, which has a $4 billion debt load, is said to be days away from filing for Chapter 11 protection. Meanwhile, JCPenney is reportedly considering bankruptcy as an option to rework its finances and save money on imminent debt payments.