In September, we wrote about department store Lord & Taylor and many praised its prices and shopping environment. One passionate comment:

Lord & Taylor's is fantastic. Over the past 3-4 years, they've made a great effort to stock well edited pieces from younger, trendier brands. They're like Macy's in that they always have a great sale (and bonus coupons), but it's never as crowded, loud, chaotic, or unorganized. I've never had to wait in line for a fitting room or had to wade through knee-deep clothing that's fallen off the racks. The sales associates are polite, friendly, and are actually knowledgeable about the clothes that they're selling - I mean, how often do find a sales associate in a mid-priced large dept. store suggesting and pulling items for you!? So I guess if shopping in a calm, uncluttered store that offers well-made, stylish clothing AND thoughtful service is only for the elderly - friggin hand me my walker.

Well, now it turns out that Lord & Taylor's parent company NRDC, is considering a drastic change. Crain's reports, "NRDC may move the store - a landmark on Fifth Avenue and West 39th Street for 92 years - to another Manhattan location. Or it could leave town altogether, moving its flagship to the suburbs." President Richard Baker says, "It's nice having a Manhattan store, but I wouldn't call it key. We want to be where people live, not where they work."

To put the numbers in perspective, Lord & Taylor's NYC flagship makes only 9% of the chain's revenue, while Saks Fifth Avenue's NYC flagship makes 20% of revenue. One idea is that L&T would give up some of their 600,000 square feet, creating a 200,000 square foot store and leaving 400,000 square feet for condos. Or NRDC could give up the Fifth Avenue and 39th Street lease completely, either moving to the 'burbs or finding another space. (Apparently Neiman Marcus and the UK's Top Shop are in the hunt for retail space in the city.)