Fifth Avenue’s Lord & Taylor has been one of the Big Apple’s cherished landmarks. The department store opened at the Fifth and 38th street location in 1914, and was then owned by two English-born cousins, Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor. The store pioneered the addition of motion to static holiday window displays, creating a crowd-pleasing display that attracted long lines of onlookers. This holiday season, however, the principal decoration in the store will be the “everything must go” signs. After 104 years, the flagship store is closing its doors in January 2019, after one final blowout sale.
As reported by VIN News, next year, the 11-story Lord & Taylor building, which encompasses the entire block, will be the home of WeWork. The workspace leasing company plans to finalize the $850 million deal to purchase the Italian Renaissance-style building by the end of January. Wework has sought the city’s approval to preserve the building’s glass rooftop courtyard, restore the balconies on the street facades and expand the retail windows to their original size. It will also preserve the limestone shields and cast-iron cresting on the Fifth Avenue facade.
In June, Hudson’s Bay Co., the Canadian company which owns the Saks Fifth Avenue department stores and has owned Lord & Taylor since 2012, announced it would be closing several stores due to the company’s “increasing focus on its digital opportunity and commitment to improving profitability.” The closure is yet another display of the consumer shift from Brick and Mortar stores to online shopping.
Lord & Taylor, founded in 1826 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was one of the country’s first big department stores. Nearly 10 other Lord & Taylor stores are expected to close through 2019. Approximately 45 other Lord & Taylor branches will remain open for business.
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