Lord & Taylor Returns as Digital-Only Retailer
Last week, Lord & Taylor returned from bankruptcy as a digital-only retailer under its new owner, Saadia Group. The Lord & Taylor site will feature exclusive collaborations and merchandise, as well as first-class service and unique events. The revamped website focuses on women’s and men’s apparel, homewares and beauty. Reportedly, children's apparel, fashion accessories and footwear will join the mix in the second half of 2021.
"The future of retail is fast and agile, mirrored by our team — which has managed to put together a fantastic assortment of merchandise and a website — in record time of less than 120 days," said Jack Saadia, principal and co-founder of The Saadia Group, in a statement. "We're deeply committed to continuing the rich legacy of the brand in a progressive way."
Total Retail's Take: This is certainly exciting news for Lord & Taylor, which at one time was the oldest department store in the U.S. It was acquired by online apparel rental startup Le Tote from then owner Hudson’s Bay Co. for $100 million in August 2019, but Le Tote itself went bankrupt just a year later. Investment firm Saadia Group acquired the Lord & Taylor store inventory, intellectual property and e-commerce assets in a bankruptcy auction in October 2020 for $12 million, but liquidation of all 38 Lord & Taylor stores and its website continued. Shifting to a digital-only operating model may be just the right move for Lord & Taylor, as there has been a surge in e-commerce activity during the pandemic, and there are no signs of it slowing down. The challenge for the brand will be winning back the retailer's former customers, who were more likely to shop in-store than online.