This Once Defunct Department Store Is Back With "Accessible Luxury" for Shoppers
The iconic retailer is paying homage to its past, while also moving into the future.
In the retail world, it seems like store closures and businesses filing for bankruptcy have been dominating the headlines. But everyone loves a good comeback story, and one groundbreaking department store is the latest to make a joyous return. While it was once completely defunct, this chain is back and better than ever, introducing a new campaign featuring "accessible luxury" for its loyal customer base. Read on to find out about this iconic department store that's picking up steam.
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This big-name brand made a comeback.
Growing up, a trip to your local shopping mall wasn't complete without a visit to Lord & Taylor. The first and oldest department store in the U.S., Lord & Taylor was the place to go for jewelry, new shoes, appliances, or even a prom dress. But the retailer and its owner Le Tote filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Aug. 2020, and after 195 years in business, the company closed the last of its remaining brick-and-mortar locations in Feb. 2021, Forbes reported. However, Lord & Taylor didn't stay defunct for long.
Lord & Taylor's new owner, The Saadia Group, came to the rescue in April 2021. The brand was relaunched online, effectively putting Lord & Taylor back in business. Plans to reopen physical locations don't appear to be in the works, but shoppers will be happy to learn that they can still shop at the store virtually.
"The future of retail is fast and agile, mirrored by our team—which has managed to put together a fantastic assortment of merchandise and a website—in record time of less than 120 days," Jack Saadia, principal and co-founder of The Saadia Group, said in a 2021 press release announcing the digital launch. "We are deeply committed to continuing the rich legacy of the brand in a progressive way. Today's unveil is just the beginning."
Staying true to their word, the move to e-commerce was just the start, as the brand is now taking things a step further.
Lord & Taylor is moving forward, while still respecting the past.
Lord & Taylor is "leaping into the future" by expanding its online presence, according to a Sept. 20 press release. The brand has introduced the "Fall Fete" campaign, which includes "accessible luxury, must-have ensembles, and both relaxed and show-stopping garments beyond barriers of size." While the company is looking to appeal to a new set of customers, the release also notes the need to honor its 196-year history.
"Lord & Taylor is revolutionizing itself from the inside out to transform modern shopping into an effortless, elevated experience," Mark Stocker, president of Lord & Taylor and New York & Company, said in the press release.
"In our leap into the future, we want to meet our customers where they are in all aspects of their fashion journey," he added. "We are here to provide them with the essentials they need to live their best lives, from day to night, office to dinner, school to formal, while also helping them discover new brands and must-haves."
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You're invited to join the festivities.
The new campaign is at the forefront of the retailer's website, inviting customers to "shop the story" with different brands for women, men, kids, and the home. A video on the homepage shows people of all ages, shapes, and sizes preparing for and then enjoying a decadent party, also known as a fete. The video concludes with text reading "Lord & Taylor Reimagined."
According to the press release, the campaign is part of an initiative to move towards a "triumphantly diverse future."
"Our goal was to digitize the brand and create an elevated online experience," Tim Bitici, Lord & Taylor's new creative director, said in the press release. "We wanted to create a diverse, multi-generational fall campaign that spoke to everyone, and the fall campaign shot by Max Papendieck does just that."
Bitici also noted the redesign and simplification of Lord & Taylor's logo. "We landed with a classic, yet modern Helvetica font, then juxtaposed it with a transparent ampersand to add that extra edge," he said.
Lord & Taylor isn't stopping there.
According to the press release, this is just the first step for the new campaign, as Lord & Taylor is expanding its "global view." Additional international brand names will be exclusively available on Lord & Taylor's website in the U.S., including Mos Mosh + V Italia, ICHI, Atelier Reve, and Charles Tyrwhit in spring 2023. At the same time, the digital department store will also introduce Quiz, Vero Moda, Gentil Bandit, and other brands to its lineup.
"We're evolving alongside our customer's needs to provide a curated selection of international offerings that prioritize quality design and luxury, as it's central to our new mission," Stocker said.
Per the press release, shoppers are asked to "stay tuned" for additional news and product launches, which will be announced "very soon."