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After nearly 200 years, Lord & Taylor is going out of business

Lord and Taylor is closing four Boston-area stores, including the one at the Prudential Center in Boston.
Lord and Taylor is closing four Boston-area stores, including the one at the Prudential Center in Boston.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

NEW YORK — Lord & Taylor, one of the country’s oldest department store chains, is going out of business after filing for bankruptcy protection last month.

The retailer was sold just a year ago for $100 million to Le Tote, an online San Francisco company that rents clothing, by its Canadian parent, Hudson’s Bay Co.

Lord & Taylor will permanently close its remaining 38 stores and shut down its website, the company said. It is holding going-out-of-business sales in stores and online.

Last month, Lord & Taylor’s parent company, Le Tote, announced it would seek bankruptcy protection and close 19 stores in an effort to “maximize the value of its business.” Included were two Massachusetts stores: at the Prudential Center in Boston and at the Natick Mall.

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Two more Greater Boston stores will also be closed, those at South Shore Plaza and the Burlington Mall.

Founded as a dry goods store in 1826, Lord & Taylor struggled for years as more people shopped online and in other stores. But the pandemic changed the way people shop and accelerated the shift to online buying, mostly to the benefit of big retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

Since COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, several clothing sellers have gone bankrupt, including Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus, and J.C. Penney.

Lord & Taylor was shrinking even before the pandemic.

Last year, it closed its 11-story flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which it had owned for more than a century. Amazon.com, the online shopping giant, is turning the building into an office for its technology workers.

Updated mention of the current parent company. Janelle Nanos of the Globe staff contributed to this report.