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Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor was started as a small dry goods store in 1826, and is one of the oldest upscale-luxury, specialty-retail department store chains in the United States. Its founders were English immigrants Samuel Lord and his cousin George Washington Taylor.

After many years, they succeeded in establishing their Lord and Taylor store as one of the most respected fashion establishments along New York’s opulent Ladies’ Mile. The store grew, moving to increasingly larger stores on Broadway and by 1850 had begun manufacturing some of the merchandise offered in the store. In 1872, Lord and Taylor moved to a grandiose cast-iron building capped by a tall mansard roof. New York's Lord and Taylor became a destination for not only shopping, but a place that women went for entertainment. In 1914, the Lord and Taylor store moved to 38th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Samuel Lord and George Taylor were the first who started the major store on Fifth Avenue. Among other firsts, it was the first store to present innovative Christmas windows filled with holiday displays rather than merchandise, and the first to open a branch store in 1941 in Manhasset.

In 1945 Lord and Taylor has named Dorothy Shaver as elected president, the first woman to head a major retail establishment in the United States. Shaver's association with Lord & Taylor began in 1921 and in the 30s she was one of the first to promote the fashions of American designers by name. Before this time, many of the best US designers were anonymous, as many preferred the prestige brought by a French frock. As a result of Lord & Taylor ads, names like Elizabeth Hewes and Muriel King became well known.

In 1986, Lord & Taylor was bought by the May department store chain. As a cost-cutting measure, May  closed over thirty Lord & Taylor stores and in October 2006 NRDC Equity Partners, LLC bought the chain from Federated Department Stores.

In September 2007, the department store unveiled a new look to the public. The new image was the work of advertising guru David Lipman, who created a branding campaign, new advertising, shopping bags and boxes, a decrease in distributing savings passes and a new credit card. Changes in merchandise were also highlighted. It is expected that Lord & Taylor will be on par with Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and slightly above Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom, in an attempt to return to its fashionable roots.

In addition to the rebranding campaign, NRDC Equity Partners, the parent company of Lord & Taylor, committed to spending $250 million to renovate current stores and look for new locations in the Chicago area. Lord & Taylor reported a jump in sales after many of May's stores took on the Macy's nameplate in 2006. The Fifth Avenue flagship store is undergoing a $150 million renovation, and several suburban locations are slated for renovation as well.