Lord & Taylor sale

Lord & Taylor

TEXT OF STORY

TESS VIGELAND: Department store Lord & Taylor used to be famous for the luxuries it marketed. Now the department store chain itself is being sold to a property development firm. Rachel Dornhelm reports.


RACHEL DORNHELM: The 48 Lord & Taylor stores will fetch $1.2 billion for current owner Federated Department Stores, the owner of Macy's and Bloomingdales.

Fashion industry analyst Marshal Cohen says the chain has faltered because high end shoppers have less store loyalty and more choice.

MARSHAL COHEN: The same consumer today who shops in the specialty retailers, shops in the department store, or even shops in the mass merchants like Target or Kmart or Wal-Mart.

Cohen says the Lord & Taylor chain could still be a good investment. In addition to retail sales, the properties could mean real-estate opportunities. For instance, Lord & Taylor stores could be condensed and the extra space rented out.

COHEN: We're seeing the landscape change within the mall environment and even off-mall, where a two or three story retail store may now be become two or three stores within one space.

The new owners have said the 180-year-old chain will continue, but may be a smaller operation.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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