Amazon is reportedly eyeing the former Lord & Taylor flagship store as it looks for office space in New York City. Here's what the iconic store looked like before it closed its doors.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerLord & Taylor ran major clearance sales before it closed.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Amazon is in talks to lease the former Lord & Taylor flagship store as it continues its quest for office space in New York City. Amazon abandoned plans to build a controversial HQ2 campus in Queens in February.
  • The building is currently owned by WeWork, which bought the building from Lord & Taylor for $US850 million. The location had been home to Lord & Taylor for more than a century.
  • We visited the iconic store earlier this year before it officially closed its doors. This is what it looked like in its final days.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As Amazon scrambles for office space after abandoning its contentious campus in Queens, the tech and retail behemoth is eyeing the former Lord & Taylor flagship building, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lord & Taylor closed its iconic flagship location for good earlier in 2019 after more than a century of business, following several quarters of slumping sales and declining foot traffic. WeWork currently owns the space and resides in the building, after buying it for $US850 million in October 2017.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is in talks with WeWork to lease out the entirety of the building’s 12 stories, or at least a portion of the space. However, specific details of the scope of the prospective deal remain unknown.

An Amazon spokesperson did not return Business Insider’s request for comment.

The news comes after Amazon revoked its initial plan in February to build a sprawling campus for employees in Long Island City, Queens, with the promise of infusing the community with 25,000 jobs over the next decade.


Read more:
Amazon cancels New York HQ2

The surprising turn of events came in response to widespread outcry and protests from New York City residents and progressive lawmakers over the potential impact of Amazon’s HQ2 on neighbouring communities, as well as concern over the roughly $US3 billion in government incentives originally allotted as part of the effort.

Business Insider visited the store several times before the department store closed its doors for good at the beginning of this year. Here’s what it looked like then.

Jessica Tyler contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.


The Lord & Taylor flagship building is located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, a major shopping destination in the city.

Mark Matousek/Business InsiderOctober 2017.

Amazon currently has more than 5,000 employees across multiple buildings in New York City. The Wall Street Journal reported that if the company takes over the Lord & Taylor building, it “it isn’t clear whether Amazon would relocate its existing New York City workforce or hire thousands of new employees.”

Mark Matousek/Business InsiderThe Lord & Taylor flagship building in October 2017.

Amazon has reportedly been considering several potential office locations in New York, including the Farley Post Office building near Penn Station.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


The demise of the flagship came after parent company Hudson’s Bay decided to scale back operations and focus on its other, better-performing businesses like Saks Fifth Avenue.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

The original plan was for Lord & Taylor to operate a smaller version of the store with 25% of the building, which was ultimately overturned.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

In October 2018, closing sales were just beginning from within the iconic building.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

When we visited in the fall of 2017, the store was still going ahead with its usual holiday displays leading into the primetime November and December shopping months.

Mark Matousek/Business InsiderOctober 2017.

We found some last-ditch attempts to appeal to millennial and Gen Z shoppers, such as this phone-charging station.

Mark Matousek/Business InsiderOctober 2017.

Lord & Taylor also installed booths like this one for shoppers interested in purchasing various furniture fixtures and equipment as it prepared to say goodbye at the end of 2018.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

There was very minimal foot traffic in the store, indicative of its struggle.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

The shelves were sparse.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

Areas like this Calvin Klein display were completely barren.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

Here we found another rack with no product.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

There were clearance signs everywhere throughout the store.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

Lord & Taylor made it very clear that everything must go.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

Toward the end, products were selling for up to 70% off.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

Certain sections of the store had been nearly cleared out, like this one.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

And this one.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

For now, the future of the historic building remains unknown, as it continues on under the ownership of WeWork.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOctober 2018.

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