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Hudson's Bay weighing sale of struggling retailer Lord & Taylor

Retail operator Hudson's Bay said Monday it is considering strategic alternatives for ailing department store chain Lord & Taylor, including a possible sale.

The Canadian company, which acquired Lord & Taylor, wants to invest in its better-performing businesses Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson's Bay, according to Hudson's Bay CEO Helena Foulkes. Both "present the greatest opportunities for long-term growth," she said in an April earnings call. 

Hudson's Bay in February sold Lord & Taylor's flagship Fifth Avenue building, which the retailer had occupied for more than a century, to space leasing company WeWork for $1.1 billion. Lord & Taylor has 40 remaining stores in the U.S., mostly on the East Coast. The retailer had about $1.4 billion in revenue in 2018.

Lord & Taylor, which was founded in 1826 as a dry goods store, has struggled to adapt as shoppers flock online. Last year, to attract new customers, Lord & Taylor started selling its brands on Walmart's website.

Retailers that could fall in 2019

About 75,000 of the nation's nearly 740,000 stores are likely to close by 2026 if consumers continue to migrate to online shopping, investment bank UBS recently predicted. Moody's in March warned that more than a dozen big-name U.S. retailers overloaded with debt could go into default or even bankruptcy in 2018. They include chains such as J.Crew, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, PetSmart and Pier 1. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.