Lord & Taylor might file for bankruptcy

The department store chain Lord & Taylor might file for bankruptcy due to an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported this week.

Lord & Taylor has locations on the former White Flint Mall site in North Bethesda and at 5255 Western Ave. in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Lord & Taylor also had a store in Gaithersburg’s Lakeforest Mall, but it closed last year.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Lord & Taylor is planning to sell off its inventory at all 38 stores while it prepares to file for bankruptcy. The report quoted unnamed sources as saying the company was waiting until the stores, closed due to the virus outbreak, reopened, before it held “going out of business” sales.

Taylor Moss, a spokeswoman  for Lord & Taylor, would not confirm to Bethesda Beat that the company plans to file for bankruptcy.

“The company is working through various options at this time and is declining to comment,” she wrote in an email on Thursday.

J.Crew, another retailer with locations in the Washington, D.C., area has announced that it is filing for bankruptcy.

The clothing store’s area locations include Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda and Chevy Chase Pavilion on the D.C. side of Friendship Heights.

J.Crew announced in a press release on Monday that it will go through a restructuring process under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the entity to continue operating while it restructures its debts.

J.Crew filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

J.Crew representatives could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The department store chain Neiman Marcus also announced on Thursday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy so that it could restructure and reduce its debts.

Neiman Marcus, which has stores in Rockville and the Friendship Heights area of Washington, D.C., filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, according to a press release.

Some of Neiman Marcus’s stores have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but others are reopening in states where it is safe to do so, the press release stated.

John Walls, a company spokesman, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Thursday that “mass store closings” aren’t part of the bankruptcy filing.

“If there were to be future store closings, it would be an operational decision on a case by case basis,” he wrote.