Lord & Taylor vs. Nordstrom: Better shopping experience?

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Difference between Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom

When it comes to high-end department store chains, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom are pretty hard to beat. Offering a winning combination of high quality products and affordable prices, both companies are the go-to sources for shopping needs that go beyond the ordinary. Which one should you go for? This comparison article aims to help you decide.

Lord & Taylor


Lord & Taylor was founded by Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor in 1826, and it was actually the first major store to set up shop on Fifth Avenue in NYC. It was also the first store to showcase Christmas windows with holiday displays instead of merchandise. The department store chain opened its flagship store–which also served as company headquarters on Fifth Avenue in February of 1914. This store is noteworthy for having been named a New York City landmark in December 2007.

As for Nordstrom, its roots can be traced to a Swedish immigrant to the United States in 1887 named John W. Nordstrom. Nordstrom moved to the New World with the primary goal of establishing a department store. He actually started out with a shoe store that he opened with his wife Hilda Carlson in 1901. Called Wallin & Nordstrom, John was then in partnership with Carl F. Wallin who owned a shoe repair shop next door. A number of other stores followed in quick succession, until a Second Avenue store was relaunched as Nordstrom.


While Lord & Taylor has its roots in the Northeast, it expanded to include stores in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Illinois early on. More recently, 11 stores were opened in South Florida in the 80s. Even more expansion efforts were undertaken in the 1990s and early 2000s, with a renewed campaign to expand all over the country. Today the company has stores all over New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis.

Nordstrom for its part has since developed into a national chain, a goal that it achieved by opening new branches instead of acquiring other retailer firms. Nordstrom can currently be found in California, Oregon, Iowa, Maryland and Florida.


After a restructuring of Lord & Taylor in 2003, the company sought to reemphasize its more upscale leanings. With this goal in mind, the management set about implementing a more vibrant and exciting merchandising strategy by way of numerous strategic changes. Today, the department store chain houses numerous Lord & Taylor Signature Cafés as well as a full-service restaurant.

Nordstrom for its part has since expanded its operations to include various restaurants, the most noteworthy of which are the ones housed in the Westfield San Francisco store. Opened in 1989, the store currently offers four restaurants and an English-style pub. Nordstrom currently has 112 department stores, 68 clearance stores, two boutiques, and a final clearance store. Plans are currently underway to open up 50 more stores in the next 10 years.


Lord & Taylor

  • The first luxury department store chain in the United States
  • Owned and operated by NRDC Equity Partners, LLC
  • Includes 46 stores
  • Owns the lordandtaylor.com website


  • A luxury department store based in the United States
  • Was founded by John W. Nordstrom
  • Started out as a shoe retailer firm
  • Has since expanded into clothes, accessories, handbags, jewelries, and cosmetics
  • Headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington

Which store has better sales?
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Nordstrom

comments 1 Comments

  • Sleepless In Chicago . 3+ yrs. ago

Puting Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor on one line does not even make sense. Nordstromn has an impeccable customer service. Lord and Taylor have no idea what "customer service" means. Based on my many purchasing experiences with both, I am now officially retiring myself from shopping to L&T. My loyalty lies with Nordstrom.

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