Manhasset’s renovated Lord & Taylor highlights complimentary customer services, company president says

Teri West
A two-story glass atrium facing the back parking lot welcomes shoppers to the renovated Lord & Taylor. (Photo by Teri West)

The renovation of Manhasset’s Lord & Taylor’s that began in January 2016 is nearly finished, with a 38,000 square foot expansion, new sunlit atrium and new rooms for specialized customer services, store officials said at a press event Thursday.

The upgraded store allows more space for new brands and expanded departments, said Georgia Dandolos, general manager and divisional vice president.

The women’s shoe department, for example, is three times as large as it was before the renovation, said Lord & Taylor president Vanessa LeFebvre.

“This has been in the making for a very, very long time,” Dandolos said.

With the expanded space and the two-story glass atrium in the back, LeFebvre said she has considered the possibility of hosting events or local community groups.

Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, who attended the press event, said the town would welcome such an offer.

The store will have a “grand reveal” on Dec. 7, 8 and 9, which will include music and demonstrations of Lord & Taylor signature services, officials said.

Those services are much more on display with the new renovation, LeFebvre said.

A bright room backed by two large dressing rooms on a Northern Boulevard corner of the store is a “personal shopping center.”

Lord & Taylor offers a free personal shopping service, in which employees team up with customers to help them find products that are right for them, LeFebvre said.

Lord & Taylor president Vanessa LeFebvre in the Manhasset store’s new “personal shopping center,” which customers and employees can use as a base as the employee helps find items they think will suite the customer’s needs. (Photo by Teri West)

In the new room, customers and personal shoppers can meet and discuss the customer’s needs, she said. The customer can then use the dressing rooms to try on options their guide helps them find, LeFebvre said.

No appointment is necessary, though customers can consult employees over the phone so that their clothes will be waiting for them to try on when they arrive, she said.

There are also two new spa rooms near the beauty department that offer complimentary treatments with different brands that host events such as Chanel or Clarins, Dandolos said.

“It’s one of our best-kept secrets that we have all these services that we haven’t been celebrating,” LeFebvre said. “Our focus for 2019 is really celebrating the services and the benefits that we have.

A new spa room at the Manhasset Lord & Taylor. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky, Getty Images)

The national anthem echoing through the store’s speakers Thursday morning signaled that it was about to open, a tradition the company has held since it’s founding in 1826, LeFebvre said.

Lord & Taylor’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is closing in early 2019, a moment that signals both a loss and a transition into just another phase for the longstanding company, LeFebvre said.

“I have a book at home that sits next to my bed and it’s ‘The History of Lord & Taylor,’ and the reason it sits there is I love to look back and think how many moments of change the brand has had,” she said. “It started out as a supply store that sold grain and fabrics and leather and all types of supplies and thinking that that Fifth Avenue store was only a midpoint in the journey really inspires me to think about [how] right now is a midpoint in our next history.”

LeFebvre became president of Lord & Taylor in May after serving as vice president of women’s buying at Stitch Fix, a company that provides digitized personal styling. She has spent much of her career at Lord & Taylor, though.

The Manhasset store represents Lord & Taylor’s legacy of innovation, she said.

The entrance to the store that borders the back parking lot. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky, Getty Images)

The company was the first to open branch stores, LeFebvre said. The Manhasset location was its first branch, according to a company official.

As renovations come to a close, LeFebvre wants to thank her Manhasset customers, she said. 

“We appreciate and don’t take for granted any of our experience with them,” she said. “We look forward to a long and meaningful relationship.”

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