New owner for Lord & Taylor
A bombshell dropped on the retail world this week when Lord & Taylor, one of America’s oldest and most iconic department store chains, was sold to a little-known clothing rental service. Le Tote, a seven-year-old San Francisco company, is spending $100 million for Lord & Taylor’s website and 38 stores. The previous owner, Hudson’s Bay Company, closed Lord & Taylor’s flagship store in Manhattan this year and has been shuttering other locations including the one in Gaithersburg. Plans call for the remaining Lord & Taylor stores to stay open for at least three years – but it’s unclear how Le Tote’s clothing rental subscription model will be integrated into the business. Also unclear is the fate of the Lord & Taylor store on Rockville Pike, which has been the subject of ongoing litigation with the owners of the former White Flint Mall.
Teen scene at Westfield Montgomery
The back-to-school teen shopping scene looks a bit different at Westfield Montgomery mall this year. Windsor, a new addition in the Old Navy wing, is drawing high school and college girls with its moderately priced assortment of everyday outfits and formal dresses. Sneaker store KicksUSA has changed hands and changed its name to Snipes. The juniors department at Macy’s has been promoted from a hidden corner on the lower level to a prominent spot on the second floor. But the future is looking rocky for Forever 21, which once dominated the teen scene and now appears to be on the verge of Chapter 11. Forever 21 is practically an anchor at Westfield Montgomery, where it has a massive two-level storefront in what used to be the Sears wing.
New look for the Cabin John mini-mall
The mini-mall at Cabin John Village is in mid-renovation, with new flooring, new paint and new lighting on the way in the next few weeks. The main strip center is adding some tenants for fall, most recently Arch Envy (permanent makeup), The Shade Store (custom window treatments, opening soon) and Playa Bowls (more on that in our Aug. 15th issue). What’s next for Cabin John? Click here for the lowdown.
Asian BBQ opens, Five Guys revamps
New restaurant opening this weekend at Rockville Town Square: Friendship BBQ, on Maryland Avenue next to Color Me Mine. The fast-casual Asian eatery offers skewered meats and seafood cooked with wood imported from the Xinjiang region of China. Just around the corner, three more Asian restaurants will be opening soon inside the former Mellow Mushroom space. Meanwhile, there won’t be any burgers at the Square for a bit: Five Guys is temporarily closed for renovation.