Fortunoff’s Manhattan store

Recession talk may have some shoppers stuffing their money under their mattresses, but at least one private equity fund has continued its buying spree. In February NRDC Equity Partners, which owns Lord & Taylor and a stake in Peter Som, agreed to purchase home furnishings and jewelry chain Fortunoff, which had filed for bankruptcy earlier that month, for $110 million. NRDC plans to pump another $100 million into renovating existing stores, adding new locations, and opening Fortunoff-branded home furnishings and jewelry departments inside Lord & Taylor stores. “We’re very much coming in as a white knight,” NRDC chief Richard Baker told WWD. “If we weren’t here, the whole thing could get liquidated.” The next item on NRDC’s shopping list, according to industry chatter: famous bridal emporium Kleinfeld.

photo: Jimi Celeste