Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy amid a pandemic

The nation's oldest retail store is facing the same troubles as other brands like J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Ann Taylor

A general view of a closed Lord and Taylor department store following their filing for bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Lord & Taylor, the oldest retail store chain in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy amidst a pandemic.

On August 2, the famed department store filed for Chapter 11 protection in Richmond, Va. Its parent firm, Le Tote Inc., also declared bankruptcy.

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Like many other businesses, the mandatory shut-down during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the retail giant. In March, Lord & Taylor temporarily shut down all of their brick-and-mortar operations, relying only on their website for sales.

The stores have been closed as a measure to oblige by the governors’ across various states have ordered their residents shelter in place.

Last year, Le Tote had to sell its flagship Lord & Taylor on New York’s Fifth Avenue, NBC News reported.

Lord And Taylor To Close It's Flagship 5th Avenue Store
Lord and Taylor, 5th Ave. NYC (Getty Images)

The company saw an “increased expenses associated with the acquisition, as well as the brick-and-mortar assets which were unusable for a substantial period of time,” Ed Kremer, the company’s chief restructuring officer, said on Monday in court filings.

At the time of the filing, Lord & Taylor had about $138 million of debt, with 38 stores and 651 employees, according to Bloomberg.

READ MORE: Ebony Magazine forced into involuntary bankruptcy

Other retail giants like J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Ann Taylor are facing the troubles as the notable department store.

“As many people have switched to working at home, brands that sell clothes targeted at office workers have had a particularly hard time. Brooks Brothers and the parent company of Ann Taylor are among those that have also filed for bankruptcy,” according to NBC News.

Fortunately, Le Tote is expected to reopen some Lord & Taylor locations, recalling 400 of its employees.

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