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05/06/2019

Lord & Taylor could be put up for sale

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Hudson’s Bay Company is reviewing strategic options for its Lord & Taylor division.

The Canadian retail giant on Monday said is pursuing alternatives for its Lord & Taylor business that include a possible sale or merger as part of its strategy “to focus on its greatest opportunities.” The division operates more than 40 stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets

Similar to other mid-market department store retailers, Lord & Taylor has been challenged in the new retail landscape and by declining mall traffic. It had revenue of some C$1.4 billion ($1.04 billion) last year, according to HBC.

“This review of strategic alternatives for Lord + Taylor is another example of how we are exploring options to position HBC for long-term success,” said Helena Foulkes, CEO, HBC, whose other U.S. banners include Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th. “Over the last year, we’ve taken bold actions and made fundamental fixes that have resulted in a far stronger, more capable HBC, having returned to positive operating cash flow, increased profitability and strengthened the balance sheet.”

The news comes as HBC has been simplifying its organization, strengthening its retail operations and unlocking the value of its real estate. In February, the company said it would close its 38-store Home Outfitters chain in Canada this year and close up to 20 Saks Off 5th stores in the U.S. amid a fleet review of the chain.

HBC has retained PJ Solomon as its financial advisor for the Lord & Taylor review.