Fortunoff (or as we say in NY, Fortunoff’s) needs help to bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy. Lord & Taylor is reported to be ready to scoff it up and incorporate it into their larger, upscale retail stores. Here’s the rub — and for the record, I think Lord and Taylor’s new management company NDRC Equity Partners has done a great job reviving that wonderful old brand – Fortunoff sells expensive things that shine. Lord and Taylor’s sells expensive things that don’t.
Combining these two stores under one roof, even maintaining separate branded names, is a recipe for lagging sales – at both stores. I’m all for consolidating real estate to make better use of available money, but not at the expense of diminishing each brand’s gestalt.
Keep both stores on one retail footprint but separate them. Make them accessible through different doors, play different music, have different lighting, different merchandising and have sales associates wear different sweaters (you know what I mean.)
Shiny and not shiny don’t mix.