Lord & Taylor to Close More Stores, Bringing Total to 24

The five additional department stores being liquidated are all located in Simon Property malls.
Lord & Taylor at Livingston Mall in Livingston, N.J. Image courtesy of Scott Brody via Wikimedia Commons

Lord & Taylor is permanently closing 24 department stores, five more than originally planned when the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. All five additional stores are housed in malls owned by Simon Property Group, one of several U.S. real estate investment trusts that serves as landlord to the nearly 200-year-old brand.

Lord & Taylor’s owner Le Tote Inc. announced Thursday that the additional stores are located in Schaumburg, Ill.; Salem, N.H.; Rockaway, N.J.; Livingston, N.J.; and Huntington Station, N.Y. The company said that these stores, like the 19 previously announced locations, will offer a wide variety of merchandise at discounts of 20 to 40 percent, adding that store fixtures are also being sold at “compelling prices.”

READ ALSO: Mall Owners Troubled but Unsurprised by Anchor Closures

The liquidation process is led by a joint venture of Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers. Le Tote and Lord & Taylor filed for bankruptcy protection on August 2 and began seeking a buyer for both businesses, while kicking off liquidation sales at 19 of its 38 existing stores. The news came amid a wave of retail bankruptcies which has claimed rival department store operators in recent months, including J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus.

Anchor stores struggle

The five stores newly added to Lord & Taylor’s liquidation list are located in Simon’s Woodfield Mall in Illinois; Rockingham Park Mall in New Hampshire; Rockaway Townsquare and Livingston Mall in New Jersey; and Walt Whitman Shops in New York. Twenty-three Lord & Taylor stores are housed in properties owned by U.S. REITs, according to an analysis by S&P Global in May, with Simon accounting for nine of these malls. Brookfield Property REIT and Taubman Centers are also among the department store’s landlords.

Indianapolis-based Simon, the largest owner and operator of U.S. malls, owns interests in some 235 retail properties spanning 191 million square feet worldwide. The REIT also counts a number of struggling or bankrupt retailers among its tenants, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, which secured about $4.5 billion in new financing as of June.

A partnership of Simon and Authentic Brands received court approval last Friday to acquire bankrupt apparel firm Brooks Brothers for $325 million, in the same week that the venture scooped up denim maker Lucky Brand. Simon is also reported to be in advanced talks, along with Brookfield, to acquire J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy.

Coresight Research has tracked 7,637 U.S. store closures so far in 2020, as well as 3,305 openings. Lord & Taylor’s latest update comes in the same week that Pizza Hut franchisee NPC International announced it would close as many as 300 underperforming restaurants of the pizza chain.