Lord & Taylor To Close Flagship NYC Store Opened In 1914

Mary AltafferAP Images

The Hudson Bay Co. announced Tuesday that it will close Lord & Taylor’s iconic flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York City early next year. Additionally, up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores across the U.S. will be shuttered through 2019.

The Canadian company’s decision comes after first quarter statistics revealed a net loss of $308 million, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The Hudson Bay Company sold Lord & Taylor’s upscale New York City department store’s building, which it had occupied since 1914, to office space sharing company WeWork last October for $850 million, reported Fortune.

However, that deal included L&T retaining part of the 11-story building to continue its operations. Now HBC is giving those floors back.

“Over the last month, we have worked rapidly to put in place a leadership team focused on driving business results, streamlining our processes, and fostering a culture of accountability,” said Helena Foulkes, Hudson Bay Company’s chief executive officer, reported Women’s Wear Daily.

“We need to improve across all areas of the business, and this begins with rededicating ourselves to putting the customer first in everything we do. This customer-focused mindset will dictate how we think about key functions of the business, and I see opportunity to dramatically improve our marketing and digital operations while also refining company wide processes that impact our end to end customer experience.”

“Accountability begins with our leadership team, and I am confident that we now have the right people in place across HBC to drive actions that will result in profitable growth,” continued Foulkes. “We will take advantage of having a smaller footprint to rethink the model and focus on our digital opportunities. The Lord & Taylor flagship on walmart.com, which launched last week, is a great example of this, and represents how we are thinking about the entire business.”

Featured image credit: Mary AltafferAP Images

The partnership with Walmart includes having dedicated pages, “Premium Brands from Lord & Taylor,” on the discount chain’s official website where luxury brands will be sold.

Founded by Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor in New York City in 1826, they opened their first store that same year. The 192-year-old company was the first department store to showcase imaginative Christmas windows for entertainment, rather than to promote its merchandise, according to the New York Times, adding that its 1938 animated window display was the first of its kind.

Several other department store chains have been hurt in this economy as well, closing many shopping locations over the past couple of years, including Bon-Ton, Sears, JC Penney, and Macy’s.