Tysons, VA

Updated 7/11/19 — A spokesperson for Lord and Taylor said that the store will close in January. 

Shoppers can find big discounts at Lord and Taylor before the department store closes at Tysons Corner Center.

“Store closing” signs say that customers can take advantage of a 20-40% discount on everything in the store. As of this morning (Monday), employees could be seen clearing out a few display cases but the location seemed to be fully stocked otherwise.

Lord and Taylor offers clothing, shoes, apparel and accessories for men, women and kids. Shoppers preparing for the winter season can find discounts on seasonal items such as gloves, coats and boots, along with everything else in the store. For example, a women’s bright yellow coat that would normally cost $300 is on sale for $240.

Tysons Reporter received conflicting reports from staff on why the store was closing but Business Insider reported earlier this year that up to 10 Lord and Taylor stores in the U.S. could close by the end of the year — including the flagship store in New York. It is unclear if the closing in Tysons Corner Center is related.

Todd Putt, a spokesperson for the mall, sent Tysons Reporter the following statement:

Lord and Taylor represents very attractive real estate at Tysons Corner Center and we are enthusiastic about future uses that will continue [to] add incredible energy to The Plaza.

And their decision to close at our center is not reflective of our business. Just in time for the holidays, we’re opening some exciting new brands, including Abercrombie Kids, Beauty Nail Bar, Roots, Helzberg Diamonds’ expansion, and much more!

Across our portfolio, Macerich has a strong track record of reimagining former big box spaces into creative, far more productive new uses. This includes not only fresh and exciting retail, but also entertainment, offices and other new experiences that are a real fit with what people want today. We see the same happening here at Tysons Corner Center.

Alexandra Cohen, a spokesperson for Lord and Taylor, told Tysons Reporter that decisions to close stores “are never easy, but they are the right ones for the company.”

“We are committed to treating every associate with respect and fairness through this process; all eligible associates will receive appropriate employment separation packages and transfer opportunities will be explored where feasible,” Cohen said.

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Changes to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, approved by the Board of Supervisors this past Tuesday, should make it easier to find new uses for the county’s vacant storefronts.

The new plan allows for a broader definition of retail and related commercial uses in both repurposing existing buildings and for unbuilt, planned retail spaces. In other words, businesses that are not strictly stores or restaurants will find it easier to move into vacant retail spaces.

The changes add new language throughout the land use portion of the Comprehensive Plan that allows greater flexibility in achieving certain objectives, particularly in cases where the conversion does not significantly impact the building form and footprint.

The plan points to several national trends for options to replace conventional retail:

  • Experiential/Entertainment Uses — Retail focused around selling an experience. The Launch Trampoline Park in Herndon, which was converted from a vacant Sears, is cited as a local example.
  • Downsizing — Retail formerly occupying a larger space reducing their scale and converting the remaining space to a different use. The former two-story Sears in Fair Oaks Mall was cited as a local example, which was reduced to one floor while the upper floor was converted into an eating area. The Sears was permanently closed in August.
  • Lifestyle Retail — Specialty retail with a focus on walkable communities. The Mosaic District is cited as a local example.
  • Curated Retail — Stores targeting a niche market. These are often online enterprises starting to establish physical locations like Warby Parker, a glasses retailer with a store in Tysons Corner Center mall.
  • Arts and Cultural Uses — Theaters, concert halls and cinemas that can anchor other nearby retail establishments, like the Showplace Icon scheduled to open in The Boro.
  • Creative Spaces — These are locations like business incubators and maker places, where individuals can collaborate on projects using shared tools.
  • Local Warehousing and Distribution Centers — Retail spaces converted into storage for the distribution of products, a trend increasingly necessary with the rise of online sales.

Outside of conversion to other retail spaces, the changes could allow vacant retail to more easily be converted into uses like medical care facilities, community colleges, or craft breweries.

There are 35.7 million square feet of retail and commercial space in Fairfax, with 75 percent located in hubs with planned future growth like Tysons and Merrifield. Tysons, Merrifield and McLean, fortunately, have fairly low vacancy rates — all below the metro area’s 4 percent rate.

One of the primary victims of the languishing retail market is neighborhood shopping centers, often anchored by a grocery store. In Fairfax, one in five has empty storefronts.

In March, similar changes were approved for transitioning suburban offices into other uses.

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Morning Notes

Painted Benches Coming to Vienna — “In honor of the Vienna Arts Society’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2019, artists from the group will decorate 41 wooden benches that will be placed around the town for six months next year.” [InsideNova]

Free Lyft Rides for Halloween — “Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2018 Halloween SoberRide program will be in operation beginning at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 and continue until 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.” [McLean Connection, Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Macy’s Hiring for Holiday Season — “As the Christmas shopping season approaches, Macy’s will be hiring seasonal staff at the two Tysons Corner locations. Hiring events will be held from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.” [Patch]

Fairfax May Legalize Hedgehogs — “Having a chinchilla, hedgehog or hermit crab in Virginia’s Fairfax County makes you a scofflaw, but that could soon change. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to advertise a public hearing on changes to the definitions of ‘commonly accepted pets’ that can be kept without special, individual permission from zoning authorities.” [WTOP]

VA-TF1 Hurricane Deployment Update — “On October 14th the team was relocated to Jackson County, approximately 40 miles north, northeast of Panama City where they continue to work today. The team is conducting wide-area searches including detailed searches of damaged structures.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

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