Lord & Taylor, the oldest operational department store in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy yesterday.

Bloomberg reports:

The oldest U.S. department store filed for Chapter 11 protection in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday and will submit a reorganization plan with the court.

The company, founded in Manhattan by two English immigrants in 1826, said it had about $137.9 million of debt obligations.

Lord & Taylor, which had been bought a year ago by Le Tote, a start-up, which also filed for bankruptcy, had 651 employees.

Lord & Taylor joins a growing list of American companies that have filed for bankruptcy because of the pandemic shutdown: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, and Lane Bryant, Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Banks, and Neiman Marcus.

I walked through Mazza Gallerie Saturday on the way to meet a friend for lunch nearby. The once-glitzy shopping mall at 5300 Wisconsin Avenue is a ghost mall, having lost major tenants (including Saks and Neiman Marcus) because of the pandemic.

By the way, I enjoyed seeing my friend, but going out to lunch ain’t what it used to be. Quite understandably. Food and service are below par at many restaurants, and how could it be otherwise? But the wait staff, while rusty, was eager to serve and glad to get back on the job.

Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic negotiators are “at loggerheads” over the next stimulus package.

While many Democrats and Republicans agree that stimulus is necessary, why is there no urgency for finding ways to re-open the nation for business, which is the only action that can reverse the course we are on?

All too many workers will not be able to return to their old jobs and must seek work elsewhere. But just as much as negotiating (or grandstanding) over a stimulus package, Congress should be finding ways to get people back to work. I find that people are only too glad to adopt safety measures if it allows them to return to the workforce.

Why aren’t we having a pep talk about moving forward safely, the only thing that ultimately can turn around our situation?