Lord & Taylor, the oldest department store in the U.S., became the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy protection, joining apparel retail conglomerate Tailored Brands (TLRD) - Get Tailored Brands, Inc. Report and others as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the economy.
Lord & Taylor, which has roots that go back to 1824 and was purchased by French clothing rental start-up Le Tote in a $100 million deal last year, said that its 38 locations have been temporarily closed since March 2020.
Both Lord & Taylor and Le Tote filed separate bankruptcy petitions in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday. Lord & Taylor says that is is looking for a new buyer.
Lord & Taylor's bankruptcy filing came on the same day that Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men's Warehouse and Jos. A Bank, filed for Chapter 11 protection as the coronavirus lockdown has had a devastating effect on apparel retailers, many of whom were already saddled with debt due to expansion efforts in recent years.
Lord & Taylor, for example, was forced to sell its 11-story flagship store in New York City last year after owning it for more than a century. Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report bought the building in March.
Upscale apparel retailer Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, as have Brooks Brothers, the parent company of Ann Taylor, J. Crew, J.C. Penney and others.
As of July 23, about 40 retailers, including both large and small companies, have filed for bankruptcy this year, according to CNBC.