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End of an Era: Lord's Will Close Next Month

Lord's Department Store is closing on Feb. 28. Retirement sales start next week.


It's the end of an era. 

Lord's Department Store, the "little bit of everything" store that has anchored Medfield's downtown for 73 years, will close its doors on Feb. 28.

Nancy Kelly-Lavin, who runs the business with her brother Tom, said the time is right to close the store.

"It took us months and months and months to figure out what we wanted to do but we think the time is right," said Kelly-Lavin. "We have mixed emotions, it's sad, but we're trying to do what's best for our families."

Kelly-Lavin said she and Tom discussed the future of the business with their . 

"My father actually talked to us about this and gave us his blessing," Kelly-Lavin said, adding that their mother, Kathryn June, has also given her blessing.

After Mr. Kelly’s death, the family's legal advisors suggested they hire a real estate consultant to address the numerous inquiries that were coming in, almost daily, about the property.

The siblings obtained such a broker but told Patch in September that they were not interested in selling, they were simply following advice to their options open. 

Now, the Kellys say, it's time to spend time with their spouses and children.

"We've been here every day for years and years; we've both been here over 40 years," said Kelly-Lavin of her and her brother. "It's time for us to focus on our families...All of a sudden you blink and your kids have grown up and are gone." 

Among the many considerations was the economy, the business scape, the town's changing character, the possibility of 400 housing units at the former Medfield State Hospital and the influx of retailers that could attract which would impact their family business -- all of these issues were part of the decision-making process. 

"So we thought, 'Why not go out on top instead of struggling and possibly not doing as well," said Kelly-Lavin.

The property was sold to a "local developer" -- who is not from Medfield but is from a town closeby -- on Dec. 31. The fate of the property is unknown but it is expected to be renovated in the spring and to have a new tenant shortly thereafter.

Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson noted on his personal blog, Medfield02052, that: 

The Lord’s store property appears to have been purchased by the same company that is exploring siting a Starbucks at the old Mobil gas station site next to the Town House.

The deed, which was recorded at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds on 12/31/12, lists the buyer as an LLC named for the street address.  It is common for attorneys to recommend a separate LLC for each property owned.  However, the required mailing address for that LLC is the same office address as Salvatore Capital Partners, LLC and GJS Management, LLC, 858 Washington Street, Suite 309, Dedham, MA 02026, which is the entity working on the Starbucks deal.

...the Salvatore Capital Partners, LLC website lists the firm’s clients, three or four of which struck [Peterson] as possible candidates:  Bertucci’s, Trader Joe’s, Eastern Bank, and/or Walgreens.

Peterson also says the deed lists a purchase price of $1,725,000 for about 38,615 sq. ft., slightly less than an acre.

A retirement sale will start next week, everything will be sold right down to the fixtures.

The nostalgic "Lord's" neon sign has been offered to the Historical Society who must find a place to store it, if they decide to keep it. 

Jean P. Raffin January 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Sunday Mass, followed by a visit to Lord's for the Sunday paper and a dozen doughnuts: the phrase, "good old days" comes to mind!
Paul Vasaturo January 04, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Can't imagine the center of Medfield without it. It was the place to browse for matchbox cars and other toys as a child, the place we all walked to for supplies when the snow closed the streets. They even had a great lime rickey, ice cream soda or grilled cheese sandwich when you wanted one! They were always open when we needed them. Good luck to the families. Thank you.
Helen Chin Lui January 04, 2013 at 05:17 PM
I am saddened with the news. I have lived in Medfield for 28 years and Lord's has always been my go to store when I needed items. I am going to miss the store tremendously. I also so saddened that Fresh Catch has closed also.
Paul Raffin January 04, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Everybody would stop there after school and usually get something to drink or eat or generally get into trouble. Having been in the retail business my entire career. It's an extraordinary achievement to have had an endurable success like this!
Marcelle Foucre January 04, 2013 at 09:01 PM
I have so many fond memories of Lord's from going there after school and checking out the candy, getting donuts and the paper on Sunday's and then taking my own girls there for their back to school packs every year. No matter what you needed, they always had it. I will really miss the lunch counter. Even though I moved out of town this past summer, I did enjoy going back and eating at Ruthie's. Thank you Kelly family for all of the time and love you poured into the store! Lord's will be missed!
David Swallow January 05, 2013 at 12:30 AM
I left Medfield in 1960 and returned in 1980 for a visit. I went to Lord's and met Mrs. Seavey, who took me up to the soda fountain and asked Mr. Lord, "do you know who this is"? Without hesitation, he said ,"you're the youngest Swallow boy." Amazing. After 20 years.
Terry Miller January 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Lords wil be missed in this town... especially Midnight Madness!!

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