Lord & Taylor, one of the nation's best-known retailing names, yesterday announced plans to open a store in Tysons Corner Center -- its fifth in the Washington area.

The store, scheduled to open in 1990 in an addition to the existing mall, is another sign that the Tysons area has become a powerhouse in retailing.

Within the next three years, four other high-priced retailers -- R.H. Macy & Co., Nordstrom Inc., Neiman-Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue -- are scheduled to open stores in the Tysons area, either in Tysons Corner Center or across Rte. 123 in the Tysons II shopping center, which is under construction.

"Collectively, {these two malls} probably will have the second best shopping on the East Coast, behind New York," said Charles Cope, manager of Tysons Corner Center.

Together, the two malls will have more large stores and specialty shops than any other section of Washington. Other well-known retailers, including Bendel's and the French chain Au Printemps, reportedly are looking for sites in the area.

Lord & Taylor Chairman Marshall Hilsberg said yesterday that the retailer chose the Tysons area as the site of its fifth local store "because we think it is the most exciting shopping center in the Washington marketplace, with its mix of retailers."

Lord & Taylor opted for Tysons Corner rather than Tysons II "because it is already established in the marketplace," Hilsberg said. He declined to say how much the store will cost, saying only that Washington "is a very expensive market to enter."

For Lord & Taylor, the 120,000-square-foot Tysons store will be the third in Fairfax County. The chain already has stores in Falls Church and at Fair Oaks mall. The affluence of the county makes it "a natural marriage for Lord & Taylor," which specializes in classic American-designer clothes, Hilsberg said.

The chain "is aiming at a better customer, and the income level in Fairfax County, if not number one, is number two in the United States. So the demographics are there for a store like ours," he said.

Hilsberg said Lord & Taylor, which also has stores in Chevy Chase and White Flint shopping center, is considering other Washington area locations. "We're certainly looking at additional opportunities for us {within the Washington area}," he said.

Ever since Lord & Taylor's parent firm, Associated Dry Goods Corp., was bought last year by May Department Stores Co., Lord & Taylor has been on an aggressive expansion program. Next year it plans to open four stores, compared to the one store opened this year.

"May Co. sees Lord & Taylor as the jewel of the Associated acquisition," Hilsberg said. "It is a company with national recognition and acceptance and something very expandable and acceptable."

The Tysons Corner store will be added to the mall in an addition to be built between Woodward & Lothrop Inc. and The Hecht Co.

Garfinckel's executives had been eyeing the same site for the past several years as a way of relocating that chain's Tysons Corner store to a larger location in the mall. But Garfinckel's recently was sold by its parent company, Allied Stores Corp., to local retailer Neal Fox, the chairman of Raleigh's Store Corp., and the change in ownership apparently has stalled Garfinckel's plans. Garfinckel's officials were unavailable to comment on their plans for the Tysons store.

Cope, the mall manager, said, "We're still talking to Garfinckel's about some things here, but we felt this deal {with Lord & Taylor} had to go ahead and proceed."