New York City staple Lord & Taylor will have one last blowout Christmas sale before closing in January. Workspace operator WeWork will take over the 11-story building in a $850 million deal.
Lord & Taylor is known for their extravagant Christmas window displays, an attraction that has brought tourists from all over for decades. Founded in 1862 by Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor, it was one of the nation’s first large department stores.
“Lord & Taylor established itself as a pioneer of holiday windows by adding motion to what had been static displays. During an unseasonably warm November in 1938, Lord & Taylor created a snow “blizzard” behind glass using cornflakes, with signs announcing “It’s coming! Sooner or later!” according to stamfordadvocate.com.
In 2007, Lord & Taylor was deemed a historical landmark, so some of WeWork’s renovations must be approved by the city going forward. New additions include a rooftop courtyard, expansion of retail windows to their original size, restoration of balconies, and more. Competitors, such as Bloomingdale’s, will now be the go-to destination for holiday window gazers.
“I am saddened that a symbol that we New Yorkers loved will soon be but a thing of the past,” said one Lord & Taylor shopper, Karen Kriendler Nelson. “What I remember most were the magical windows at Christmas, where we patiently waited in line for our turn to see them more closely, and then got on the line again and again.”
The closing of this legendary Fifth Avenue store marks the beginning of the end, as retail moves swiftly to online sales.
Back in June, Hudson’s Bay Co., the retail business group in charge of Lord & Taylor, announced plans to close multiple stores to increase its focus on the online retail world.