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Lord & Taylor Among Latest US Chains Declaring Bankruptcy

Women peer in the front door of Lord & Taylor's flagship Fifth Avenue store which closed for good, Jan. 2, 2019, in New York.
Women peer in the front door of Lord & Taylor's flagship Fifth Avenue store which closed for good, Jan. 2, 2019, in New York.

U.S. department store chain Lord & Taylor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday, joining a list of major brands in the country that have sought to reorganize their operations as the coronavirus pandemic heavily affects retail sales.

Lord & Taylor is one of the oldest department store operators in the world, and like many of the companies that have filed for bankruptcy this year it was already struggling before the pandemic hit due to a shift in consumer habits from shopping mostly in stores to online shopping.

In its bankruptcy filing, the company listed assets and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million.

A company that files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under U.S. law usually intends to continue operating and proposes a plan to reorganize its business and pay its creditors.

This year also brought Chapter 11 filings from two other major names in U.S. department stores, J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, which each took their actions in May.

Major clothing brands have also been among those seeking reorganization through bankruptcy.

Tailored Brands, which operates Men’s Warehouse stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday. It had already announced plans to shut as many 500 of its stores.

The more-upscale Brooks Brothers sought Chapter 11 protection last month, as did the parent company of women’s fashion brands Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant.

The company that operates J. Crew stores made its filing in May.

Other sectors have also been hit by the changing habits of consumers, with lockdown orders stifling travel and forcing places like restaurants and gyms to temporarily close their doors to try to stop the spread of the virus.

Rental car giant Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and in the fitness category, gym chains 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym did as well, along with vitamin and supplement retailer GNC.

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