The pandemic is a huge blow to many businesses. And even one of the oldest department stores in the US is among the growing number of retailers that are succumbing to bankruptcy filing during these trying times.

Bankruptcy protection

Lord & Taylor is one of the more recent businesses to file for bankruptcy due to the current health crisis in the US. On Sunday, the luxury items retail company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, court files indicated. The company operates 38 stores across the country, which were part of the massive shutdown last March when the novel coronavirus emerged.

Lord & Taylor has filed for bankruptcy, joining a growing list of stores slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted by CBS This Morning on Monday, August 3, 2020

Purchase for revival

Just almost a year ago, San Francisco-based Le Tote, a subscription service company that offers rental of clothing and accessories for women, has acquired the department store for $100 million, from its previous Canadian parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co. which had purchased Lord & Taylor on 2012.

Included in Le Tote’s purchase are the brand, digital platforms, inventory, and stores. With the deal came attempts for Le Tote, a company which was only founded on 2012, to revive the 194-year old department store company and aiming to market the brand to younger demographic. Efforts for the fashion company to merge business models of the two brands, Lord & Taylor’s retail stores and Le Tote’s subscription service.

Le Tote has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with debt obligations amounting to $138 million during the filing.

Unwanted clothing trend

The 194-year old company is just the latest enterprises victimized by the health crisis. Sales for clothing and apparels are down as people are just staying at home. Other retail stores including large operators like Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, New York & Co., and JCPenney have also filed for bankruptcy protection some time during the pandemic in order to counter the dwindling sales.

Lord & Taylor is the oldest department store in the United States, with its first shop opening in Manhattan, New York in 1826, which is almost two centuries ago. It is the brainchild of two immigrants from England, Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor.

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