2019 isn’t even over, but it’s already been full of changes for the retail industry. Retailers provided plenty of headlines, from store bankruptcies to grand openings and multimillion-dollar deals. Scroll down to revisit some of the biggest retail news so far.
Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue Flagship Shuts Down
Lord & Taylor closed its flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Jan. 2, 2019, after spending more than 100 years in the Midtown location. The 11-story, 650,000-square-foot flagship whittled down to just one floor by the end. A going-out-of-business sale started in October and didn’t leave much left.
The company wasn’t done making news in 2019: Hudson’s Bay Co. eventually sold Lord & Taylor, which closed several other locations this year, to Le Tote in a $75 million deal in August.
Hudson Yards Opens in Manhattan
The complex, which boasts almost 18 million square feet, officially opened to the public on Manhattan’s West Side on March 15, 2019. The development site includes a Neiman Marcus and other high-end stores, multiple restaurants, The Vessel, a walkable art installation, and much more.
Barneys New York Bankruptcy Case
Barneys New York filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 6, 2019, after facing high operating costs and changes in the luxury market. A battle for ownership of the storied retailer eventually emerged, with a clear victor: Authentic Brands Group. ABG bought Barneys in a $271.4 million deal that went through Nov. 1, 2019.
Now, even more changes are afoot: ABG plans to take Barneys’ name over to Saks Fifth Avenue. The Barneys Madison Avenue flagship, meanwhile, is currently in the middle of a liquidation sale, with ABG intending to transform the physical space into a pop-up.
Forever 21 Follows Suit
Forever 21, too, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 29, 2019. At the time, the company said it would use the bankruptcy as an opportunity to “right size its store base and return to basics.” Forever 21 also planned to close up to 178 stores in the U.S., as well as the majority of its Asia and Europe locations.
Hudson’s Bay Co. Privacy Plans
Hudson’s Bay Co. chairman Richard Baker (pictured) was part of a group of shareholders that proposed taking the Canadian company private in June 2019. The company eventually entered into a deal to do so with the group, which controls 57 percent of the company’s shares, on Oct. 21, 2019.
However, the privatization bid has since been hit with opposition in the lead up to the shareholder vote, which is expected to take place next month.
A New York Nordstrom
After years in the making, Nordstrom finally opened its New York City flagship to the public on Oct. 24, 2019. The massive retail location, which has 7 levels and 320,000 square feet, is located across the street from the company’s men’s store.
Erik Nordstrom, copresident of Nordstrom Inc., spoke to WWD about the project.
“We had this vision of a modern flagship, an urban store that would really be connected to the city and the energy of the city and not isolated from it. It’s worked out that way,” he said.