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Lord + Taylor Files for Bankruptcy

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The 200-year-old retailer and Le Tote subsidiary has closed 19 brick-and-mortar locations following the Chapter 11 filing.

Le Tote and its subsidiary Lord + Taylor have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Lord & Taylor will see 19 of its U.S. locations close as part of the bankruptcy decision. The 200-year-old retailer will continue to operate at some of its other sites during the filings and closures.

Le Tote bought Lord + Taylor late last year. The digitally native brand took ownership of the retailer's 38 brick-and-mortar stores and online retail offerings as part of the deal.

Bankruptcy filings come as brick-and-mortar retailers worldwide struggle in the face of economic shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, consumer spending dropped 16 percent last May. Consumers instead turned to online shopping as many stores closed their doors to help flatten the COVID-19 curve. E-commerce sales jumped as much as 49 percent in April, per the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

These changes in consumer retail habits have led to retailers such as Neiman Marcus also filing Chapter 11 this year. The long-time retailer reported that COVID-19 played an outstretched role in its decision.

"Prior to COVID-19, Neiman Marcus Group was making solid progress on our journey to long-term profitable and sustainable growth," said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, chairman and chief executive officer, Neiman Marcus Group, in a report last May. "We have grown our unrivaled luxury customer base, expanded our industry-leading customer relationships, achieved higher omnichannel penetration and made meaningful strides in our transformation to become the preeminent luxury customer platform. However, like most businesses today, we are facing unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed inexorable pressure on our business."

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