One of the oldest luxury retailers in the U.S. will soon be owned by a seven-year-old startup that rents clothing.
Lord & Taylor is being sold after struggling to keep customers who have increasingly opted for online options like Amazon over established brick-and-mortar giants, the company announced Wednesday.
Rental clothing company Le Tote is buying the 193-year-old department store chain for $100 million from Canada-based Hudson’s Bay Co.
Lord & Taylor, which was founded in Manhattan in 1826 by English merchant Samuel Lord as a dry goods business, shut down its flagship Fifth Ave. store earlier this year after flagging sales. There are still 38 Lord & Taylor stores nationwide, including one in Yonkers and four on Long Island.
San Francisco-based Le Tote said Wednesday it would bring its clothing rental approach — shipping clothes to customers who pay a monthly fee to wear the items and then return them — to Lord & Taylor clientele.
The sale comes as online shopping has decimated the retail sector. Annual sales at department stores dropped 20% from 2017 to last year, according to the Census Bureau.