Luxury department store Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy

Filings come less than a year after Le Tote agreed to buy Lord & Taylor from Hudson's Bay Co.

Luxury department store chain Lord & Taylor filed for bankruptcy along with its owner, the venture-backed fashion-rental subscription service Le Tote Inc.

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Sunday's chapter 11 filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., come less than a year after Le Tote agreed to buy Lord & Taylor from Hudson's Bay Co., the parent of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Lord & Taylor temporarily closed its 38 bricks-and-mortar locations in March but has continued to operate through online channels during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Founded in 2012, Le Tote rents women's clothing and accessories for a flat monthly fee. Backers of the San Francisco company include venture-capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator and Google Ventures.

As Americans' spending on apparel has plunged, thousands of retailers have been forced to shut their doors, some for good. Since March, a number of major clothing retailers have been pushed into bankruptcy, including Brooks Brothers Group Inc., J.C. Penney Co., Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. and J.Crew Group Inc.

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Lord & Taylor's bankruptcy advisers include Kirkland & Ellis LLP financial adviser Berkeley Research Group, LLC and investment bank Nfluence Partners.

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