Lord & Taylor, the first department store established in the United States, is officially going out of business, ending a nearly 200-year run.
The bankrupt company announced Thursday that all of its 38 remaining stores and website have begun liquidation sales — a reversal from last week’s decision to keep 14 locations open.
“While we are still entertaining various opportunities, we believe it is prudent to simultaneously put the remainder of the stores into liquidation to maximize value of inventory for the estate while pursuing options for the company’s brands,” Ed Kremer, the company’s chief restructuring officer stated. “I am extraordinarily proud of the continued efforts of our store and corporate team members as they have worked tirelessly over the past several months, under unprecedented conditions, to preserve this historic brand. We have a long road ahead of us and I am grateful and humbled by the dedication and resiliency of our team.”
Lord & Taylor filed for bankruptcy on August 2nd, joining a string of upscale retailers filing for Chapter 11 in recent months. It initially announced 19 stores were closing, then increased that number to 24 a few weeks later. Now every store will close for good.
The going out of business sale, expected to begin in the balance of stores on Thursday August 27th, will continue to be led by the joint venture of Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers.
Founded in 1826 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Lord & Taylor was one of the nation’s first big department stores, run by two English-born cousins, Samuel Lord, and George Washington Taylor. The store occupied several locations before 1914 when it moved into the building that fills a whole Manhattan block on Fifth Avenue at 38th Street. That location was sold to WeWork in 2018 for $850 million and subsequently closed by January 2019.