The oldest U.S. department store filed for Chapter 11 protection in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday and will submit a reorganization plan with the court. The company, founded in Manhattan by two English immigrants in 1826, said it had about $137.9 million of debt obligations.
Lord & Taylor’s owner, fashion start-up Le Tote Inc., filed for Chapter 11 along with the retail chain. Le Tote bought the rights to the company’s stores, brand and e-commerce site from Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co. for $71 million last year.
The company, with 38 stores and 651 employees as of the filing, joins a burgeoning list of department-store casualties tied to the virus, which turned malls into ghost towns. Former fashion stalwarts like J. Crew Group Inc. and Neiman Marcus Inc. already filed for bankruptcy protection this year.
This isn’t at all “unexpected,” even by Bloomberg standards: In early May, Reuters reported: Exclusive: Lord & Taylor to liquidate its stores as soon as they reopen – sources.