Retailer Lord & Taylor has announced that it will divest 32 stores as part of an effort to reposition itself as an upscale fashion retailer focusing on its core Northeastern and Midwestern markets. The company will continue to run 54 other stores.
The divestiture will include all of Lord & Taylor’s Florida stores, as well as 25 others throughout the nation. According to the company, the stores being closed represent 38% of Lord & Taylor’s stores, but only 19% of the store’s total sales.
"We have worked very hard for the past several years to return Lord & Taylor to its heritage as an upscale retailer of distinctive fashion and style. As a result of today’s actions, we fully expect Lord & Taylor’s cash flow and return on investment to show a marked improvement," says Gene Kahn, chairman and CEO of the May Department Stores Co., which owns Lord & Taylor.
It’s unclear what will happen to the 32 stores that are closing. In a statement, the company says it will "continue to fulfill its obligations under existing documents to operate each store until satisfactory arrangements can be negotiated to divest the location."