Founded in 1826, it doesn’t seem like an overstatement that Lord & Taylor’s website calls the department store “an American tradition.” Long before New York City’s Fifth Avenue became a fashionista’s Mecca of designer brands and high-end shops, the retailer had already made the street its home.
“The windows of our flagship location on Fifth Avenue have been making an impact on the New York fashion scene for more than 90 years,” the company’s website reads. “Lord & Taylor is not only at the forefront in fashion but we’ve also set significant trends in the retailing industry. We were the first retailer with the vision to move to Fifth Avenue—and the first to install an elevator. We were also the first to open a branch store, the first to develop the concept of offering personal shopping services and the first to create Christmas windows for pure delight rather than selling merchandise, a tradition that continues today.”
Today the retailer boasts 46 department stores at an average of 120,000-square-feet in states including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Illinois, among others, as well as a significant online presence through LordandTaylor.com and Facebook.com.
Although changes have taken place through the advent of technology and the retailer’s expansion, its mission remains to provide a great store experience and offer an edited fashion assortment at an excellent value. Stores are designed to create a residential feel offering a warm, classic and easy shopping environment.
Although intimate apparel only makes up approximately five percent of sales and merchandise, the retailer offers a wide assortment of options in this category including all of the industry’s key brand names. Best-sellers are Wacoal, Spanx and Jockey, and men’s underwear includes Calvin Klein, Jockey, Polo and Hugo Boss. Other intimates brands seen in store include Chantelle, Elle MacPherson, Le Mystere, Betsey Johnson, Felina and DKNY, among many others. Bra sizes run from an impressive 32AA to 42G, and intimates prices run from $9 for panties to $88 for a bra.
May Lau, the company's director of special events, described the retailer’s typical customer as a 41-year-old, trend-right suburban woman with an average bra size of 32 to 36 B through C who wants to “shop with ease.” Most-requested intimates styles are shapewear, strapless bras and panties. The company trains all associates in the department’s sales floor as bra fitters.
And to give customers even more reason to venture inside, Lord & Taylor partners with vendors to host over 40 in-store events per year. In intimates, this includes twice-yearly multi-vendor events, and two of Wacoal’s Fi(gh)t For The Cure fitting events to benefit Susan G. Komen, a breast cancer charity organization.
Lau reported that the company believes hosting events is vital because they “create excitement in-store and gives customers another reason to come into Lord & Taylor and shop.” The company looks for “unique, fun and sales-driven opportunities” in its vendor partners.
All in all, Lau described Lord & Taylor as one-of-a-kind. “We offer excellent customer service at a great value, adding up to a great shopping experience for every customer,” she commented.