The Prince of Lord & Taylor
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In 2006, just before the recession, Richard A. Baker took a flier and bought Lord & Taylor, and later the Hudson’s Bay Company, putting down almost no money and borrowing more than $1 billion to finance the deals. Just about everyone in retailing wrote him off. Many whispered that he would get hammered, like several investment hotshots who set their sights on this business. But a funny thing happened on the way to the comeuppance. It turns out that Baker wasn’t so bad at running department stores.