By Andrew Scaggs – Barron’s
NEW YORK, NY, April 21, 2020 – Department store Lord & Taylor is reportedly the latest retailer to consider filing for bankruptcy amid widespread store closures from the coronavirus crisis.
Reuters reported late Monday that the department store, which was purchased by fashion startup Le Tote last year, was considering bankruptcy among possible moves as its stores remain closed.
” The company is working through various options at this time and is declining to comment,” said a Le Tote spokeswoman in an email.
Retailers, and specifically department stores, are facing growing financial pressure and considering raising cash, restructuring debt, or filing for bankruptcy as a way to manage their sizable debt burdens.
Privately held Neiman Marcus, for example, is said to be planning a filing as soon as this week. Macy’s (M) is looking to raise extra cash secured by its real estate. And J.C. Penney (JCP) last week decided to skip a $12 million interest payment and use its 30-day “grace period” to consider its options.
Earlier this month Fitch downgraded eight retailers, and cut its ratings on department stores Dillard’s (DDS) and Macy’s (M) to junk. It also downgraded retailers Capri Holdings (CPRI) and Tapestry (TPR) to junk as well.
BIZ INDIA Online News – Editor’s Note:
According to Wikipedia, Lord & Taylor, a luxury department store in the United States, is the oldest department store in the country, founded nearly 200 years ago in 1826. Headquartered in New York City, it has been a subsidiary of Le Tote since November 2019.
As of January 2012, there were 46 stores in operation. By late August 2019, 38 stores were in operation, with its the flagship store in Manhattan and several other locations were closed in 2019.
On August 28, 2019, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced an agreement to sell Lord & Taylor to Le Tote, a deal that closed in November 2019. Five of the 38 stores were to be closed, according to that plan.
In late 2019, the new owner, Le Tote, announced that it would be restoring the Lord & Taylor logo back to the historic script logo used prior to 2015. The signature logo appears on most of Lord & Taylor stores and has been returned to the website.