In the retail world, it seems store closures and corporate bankruptcy filings have been making headlines. But everyone loves a good comeback story, and a groundbreaking department store is the latest to make a cheerful comeback. Once completely defunct, this chain is back and better than ever, introducing a new campaign showcasing “accessible luxury” for its loyal customer base. Read on to learn more about this iconic department store on the rise.
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Growing up, a trip to your local mall wasn’t complete without a visit to Lord & Taylor. America’s first and oldest department store, Lord & Taylor, was the perfect place to buy jewelry, new shoes, appliances, or even a prom dress. But the retailer and its owner Le Tote filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2020, and after 195 years in business, the company closed the last of its remaining physical locations in February 2021, Forbes reported. However, Lord & Taylor were not long gone.
Lord & Taylor’s new owner, The Saadia Group, came to the rescue in April 2021. The brand was relaunched online, allowing Lord & Taylor to resume operations. Plans to reopen physical locations don’t appear to be in the works, but shoppers will be happy to hear they can still shop virtually in the store.
“The future of retail is fast and nimble, reflected in our team, who successfully implemented a fantastic merchandise assortment and 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 brand’s rich heritage in an incremental way. Today’s unveiling is just the beginning.”
True to its word, the shift to e-commerce was just the beginning, as the brand is now taking things a step further.
Lord & Taylor is “jumping into the future” by expanding its online presence, according to a Sept. 20 press release. The brand launched the “Fall Fete” campaign, which features “accessible luxury, must-have ensembles and clothing that’s both casual and dramatic beyond size barriers.” As the company seeks to attract a new set of customers, the statement also notes the need to honor its 196-year history.
“Lord & Taylor is revolutionizing itself from within to transform modern shopping into an effortless and elevated experience.” Mark Stockerchairman of Lord & Taylor and New York & Company, said in the press release.
“As we leap into the future, we want to meet our customers where they are in all aspects of their fashion journey,” he added. “We’re here to provide them with the essentials they need to live their best life, day to night, office to dinner, school to formal, while helping them discover new brands and must-haves. “
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The new campaign is front and center on the retailer’s website, inviting customers to “buy the story” with different brands for women, men, kids and home. A video on the homepage shows people of all ages, shapes and sizes getting ready and then enjoying a decadent party, also known as a party. The video ends with a text titled “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, the new creative director of Lord & Taylor, said in the press release. “We wanted to create a diverse, multi-generational fall campaign that appealed to everyone, and the fall campaign shot by Max Papendieck does exactly 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 touch,” he said.
According to the press release, this is just the first step in the new campaign, as Lord & Taylor expands its “global view”. Other international brands will be exclusively available on Lord & Taylor’s US website, including Mos Mosh + V Italia, ICHI, Atelier Reve and Charles Tyrwhit in spring 2023. Alongside this, the digital department store will also feature Quiz, Vero Moda, Gentil Bandit and other brands in its range.
“We are evolving alongside the needs of our customers to provide a curated selection of international offerings that prioritize quality design and luxury as they are central to our new mission,” Stocker said.
According to the press release, buyers are urged to “stay tuned” for additional news and product launches, which will be announced “very soon.”