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Le Tote Names Ruth Hartman President of Lord + Taylor, Completes Acquisition

Hudson’s Bay Company’s CMO and VP of Corporate Development join Le Tote Board

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Le Tote, the retail company known for its leading fashion rental subscription service, has completed its acquisition of Lord + Taylor. Le Tote announced plans to acquire the department store from Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC) in August 2019. To lead the integration of its innovative, data-driven strategy, Le Tote named its Chief Merchandising Officer, Ruth Hartman, as President of Lord + Taylor. Additionally, HBC’s Bari Harlam (Chief Marketing Officer), and Nick Cavallaro (Vice President of Corporate Development), join the Le Tote board, bringing with them over 30 years of industry experience.

With the deal closure, Le Tote became the first digitally native brand to acquire an established brick and mortar retailer. The company assumed operations of 38 stores, Lord + Taylor’s robust digital channels and vast inventory spanning women’s, men’s and kids apparel, shoes, beauty, handbags, accessories and more. Through its rental platform, Le Tote will offer customers access to the largest selection of styles and brands in the industry.

“By pairing tradition and technology, we are erasing the lines between online and in store, renting and buying,” said Rakesh Tondon, Le Tote CEO. “Today, more than ever, people aren’t single brand or single channel shoppers. They crave innovative, personalized experiences. With a customer focused mindset and both traditional and next-gen industry expertise, Ruth is uniquely qualified to spearhead this exciting first step into the future of retail. We’re thrilled for her to take on this new role.”

Hartman brings more than 30 years of experience to her new role as Lord + Taylor President, having previously held executive positions at Macy’s, DSW and Le Tote. Brian Hoke will remain on as Lord + Taylor’s Chief Merchandising Officer, alongside Robert Wehrle as Senior Vice President of Stores.

“I’m honored to lead Lord + Taylor into its next chapter and be a part of this groundbreaking moment,” said Hartman. “By delivering data driven experiences, we’ll breathe new life into the traditional retail model and put customers in the driver's seat in a way they’ve never been before.”

The first cross-brand collaboration between Le Tote and Lord + Taylor came in October 2019, when Le Tote launched its premiere Rental Studio within the Ridge Hill, NY, Lord + Taylor store. In addition to learning about Le Tote’s rental service first hand, customers have the opportunity to browse a sampling of the rental inventory, have their measurements taken by a store associate, and return their tote, if already a member. Additional Rental Studio locations are scheduled to launch in the coming weeks.

The acquisition financing was led by Wells Fargo Capital Finance, with additional financing by The Carlyle Group’s global credit platform.

About Le Tote
Le Tote is creating data-driven retail experiences that uniquely bridge the divide between renting and buying, in-store and online. Through its proprietary technology, the Company delivers personalized style and fit recommendations, with a vision to redefine traditional retail. Founded in 2012, Le Tote created the first rental subscription model. In 2019, Le Tote became the first digitally native brand to acquire an established brick and mortar retailer with its purchase of Lord + Taylor, America’s first and longest operating department store. By pairing its rental platform with Lord + Taylor’s ecommerce business and 38 store locations, Le Tote offers customers access to the largest rental inventory in retail, with nearly 600 brands and several exclusive in-house lines. The Y Combinator-backed company has raised venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Azure Capital Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Simon Venture Group, Sway Ventures, Epic Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, Funders Club, and others.

Emily Fox 

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