Macy’s will replace regional store names across the nation

Macy’s will replace locally familiar names in some 330 stores across the nation in 2006 under post-merger plans announced Thursday by Federated Department Stores Inc. The regional retailers will be converted into Macy’s stores.

Federated also plans to sell 68 stores, including 27 current Macy’s, next year because they overlap in markets with the company Federated is buying, May Department Stores Co.

Federated has pledged not to cut any jobs before March 1.

“Macy’s emerged as a premier national retailer in March 2005, when we changed Federated’s regional department store nameplates,” Terry J. Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “We will continue that process in 2006 by converting many of May Company’s regional store nameplates to Macy’s.”

Ten May nameplates will be eliminated in fall 2006, the Cincinnati-based company said as it laid out what it has in store after its takeover of rival May becomes final. They are:

* Famous-Barr locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri;

* Filene’s locations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont;

* Foley’s locations in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas;

* Hecht’s locations in Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia;

* The Jones Store locations in Kansas and Missouri;

* Kaufmann’s locations in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia;

* L.S. Ayres locations in Indiana;

* Meier & Frank locations in Oregon, Utah and Washington;

* Robinsons-May locations in Arizona, California and Nevada; and

* Strawbridge’s locations in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Federated says May’s Lord & Taylor name, now on 58 stores, will stay, and that it’s studying the Marshall Field’s name. A Chicago landmark, there are 60 Marshall Field’s stores.

“We respect that May Company’s regional store names are deeply rooted in their communities, we appreciate the heritage and traditions associated with those names, and we expect to continue to play an important role in the communities where our customers live and work,” Lundgren said. “At the same time, we also have learned from our own experience converting Federated’s regional nameplates. Our customers tell us … that’s what inside a store—the merchandise, the service, the people, the shopping environment—is what matters most.”

The changes mean Macy’s will have a total of 730 stores across the U.S. in nearly every major market. Federated said its decisions followed research into customer attitudes.

Federated in March dropped such long-established names as Burdines in Florida, Rich’s in Atlanta and Lazarus in Ohio in favor of Macy’s.

The current Federated and May stores have a combined $30 billion in annual sales. Federated said the 68 stores being sold account for $2 billion in annual sales.

Federated said the plans may be adjusted, and that a small number of stores may be converted to Bloomingdale’s.

Shareholders of both companies approved the takeover this month. Federated expects the deal to close in the third quarter, following completion of regulatory review.