former Thalhimers (later Hecht's and Lord & Taylor), Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina. Mall entrance, circa 1975. (Courtesy Elizabeth Smartt)
former Lord & Taylor, Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina. Mall entrance, shortly after opening in 1995. (Crabtree Valley Mall)
former Lord & Taylor, Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina. Mall entrance. Photographed with camera phone 7/15/05.
former Lord & Taylor, Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina. Lower level mall entrance. Photographed with camera phone 6/23/05.
The former Lord & Taylor at Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina, started its life as a branch of Richmond, Virginia-based department store Thalhimers in 1972. In 1990, Hecht's department stores in Washington, D.C., a division of the May Department Stores Co. of St. Louis, acquired the Thalhimers chain and renamed the stores Hecht's by early 1992.
A year later, Hecht's started construction on an 180,000 square foot, two-level location in an expansion wing of Crabtree Valley. The 100,000 square foot former Thalhimers store was then converted to a Lord & Taylor in 1995.
Things calmed down for nearly a decade until May Department Stores, which owned both Hecht's and Lord & Taylor at the time, announced plans to close the underperforming Lord & Taylor in 2003. Plans were originally to sell the remainder of the store's lease, but due to lack of interest from buyers, the store limped along as a clearance center for the chain until the end of the original lease in 2006.
Federated bought the May department store chain in 2005. That left Federated with two department stores at Crabtree Valley Mall: Hecht's and Lord & Taylor. Federated closed the underperforming Lord & Taylor in February 2006, but in an odd move, entered into a new five year lease on the space.
In early 2007, Belk, Inc. announced that the upper level of the shuttered Lord & Taylor space will become the new men's department of Hudson Belk, which is also located at the mall. Scheduled to open in May 2007, with 69,000 square feet of space, it will be Belk's largest freestanding men's store.
No plans have been announced for the lower level.