Layoffs are looming at Lord & Taylor and may come as soon as today. About 100 to 150 executive jobs in the central offices in Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue flagship and at branch stores are expected to be eliminated, sources said. Executive positions in support functions such as human resources, finance and planning, and possibly department managers are among those said to be affected. A Lord & Taylor spokeswoman declined comment. It was not clear whether this would be just a first round of cuts. The company, a division of Hudson’s Bay Trading Co., which is owned by NRDC Equity Partners, is looking to reduce costs because of the difficult economy, soft sales and debt associated with the flurry of recent acquisitions by NRDC. NRDC purchased Lord & Taylor in 2006. The acquisitions of Fortunoff and Hudson’s Bay were completed this year. Fortunoff was bought out of bankruptcy, and Hudson’s Bay’s business has been soft for some time. Last month, Lord & Taylor’s top senior executives — Jane Elfers, president and chief executive officer, and Mark Weikel,chief operating officer — were dismissed. Elfers was replaced by Brendan Hoffman, former president and ceo of Neiman Marcus Direct. However, the chief operating officer slot will not be filled. This latest round of cost cuts could be separate from what is expected to be a major consolidation of back office functions between divisions. Lord & Taylor has about 10,000 employees and 48 stores.
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