Federated Department Stores said yesterday it is planning to cut up to 6,200 jobs beginning next year and will drop the landmark Marshall...
CINCINNATI — Federated Department Stores said yesterday it is planning to cut up to 6,200 jobs beginning next year and will drop the landmark Marshall Field’s name next fall from 62 stores it acquired this year as part of its takeover of May Department Stores.
The Marshall Field’s stores will be switched to the Macy’s nameplate.
Federated also said it plans to sell the Philadelphia-based bridal-group division it acquired from May and is studying what to do with its Lord & Taylor division.
The job cuts will include 1,700 in St. Louis at May’s corporate offices and about 4,500 as Federated phases out May’s divisional operations in Boston, Houston, Arlington, Va., and Los Angeles. The cuts will start in March.
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Federated had pledged not to cut any jobs before March 1 after buying its rival.
The job cuts are the first announced since Federated completed its $11.9 billion purchase of May in August, creating a retailing powerhouse better able to compete against Wal-Mart Stores and upscale merchants. The merger combined more than 1,000 stores with $30 billion in annual sales.
The retailer said previously it would eliminate 10 May nameplates and study whether to keep the name of Marshall Field’s, a Chicago landmark.
The death of the Marshall Fields name was not unexpected, but some diehard fans, mostly from the Chicago area, fought to preserve it.
“We have great respect for the legacy and traditions of Marshall Field’s, and we carefully researched customer preferences and studied alternatives before making this decision to incorporate Marshall Field’s in the nationwide Macy’s brand,” Federated Chairman Terry Lundgren said in the announcement.
“While the store’s name will change, much of what customers love will stay the same, including Marshall Field’s traditions and its outstanding record of community and charitable giving.”
That includes keeping the Frango mints, said Federated spokesman Jim Sluzewski.
“Absolutely,” said Sluzewski, explaining the beloved mints were not just a Marshall Field’s tradition.
The mints originated with a now-defunct Seattle chain, Frederick & Nelson, which at one point was part of Marshall Field’s.
Sluzewski also said the Marshall Field’s nameplates on the historic State Street store in downtown Chicago would be maintained, even after the Macy’s name is added.
The city of Chicago is in the process of designating the store as a historic landmark, and Federated is cooperating in that effort, Sluzewski said.
Marshall Field’s has stores in eight states in the Midwest.
The cuts and name changes are intended to build the nationwide Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s brands while reducing costs by $175 million in 2006 and $450 million in 2007 and beyond, Federated said.
The bridal group includes 245 David’s Bridal, 454 After Hours Formalwear and 11 Priscilla of Boston stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico. Lundgren said the operation was profitable but does not fit with a strategy focusing on department stores.
With corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, Federated now has 244,000 employees and stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Information on Marshall Field’s nameplate and Frangos provided by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.