By James McNair
Enquirer staff writer
The last of Cincinnati's legacy department store names will fade into history within four months when Federated Department Stores drops Lazarus from its marquees in favor of Macy's.
Since August 2003, the Cincinnati-based department store chain has operated its 36 Midwestern stores with the hyphenated name of Lazarus-Macy's. It renamed its other regional sub-chains in the same fashion: 28 Rich's-Macy's in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, 61 Burdines-Macy's in Florida, five Goldsmith's-Macy's in Tennessee and 50 Bon-Macy's in the Pacific Northwest.
The changes will take effect in January 2005, leaving Federated with two highly recognizable brands: Macy's and Bloomingdale's.
"The evolution of the Macy's brand is a significant development for our company and its competitive positioning in the retail sector," Federated CEO and chairman Terry Lundgren said.
"By focusing all of our efforts on Macy's and Bloomingdale's, two of the world's best-known and most formidable retail nameplates, we will be able to maximize the incredible potential inherent in both of these brands through distinctive, consistent and far-reaching marketing initiatives."
Shares in Federated closed Monday at $45.55, up 71.5 cents.
Federated operates 37 Lazarus-Macy's stores in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania. They and the other regional sub-chains will get the name change.
Together, they represented about $4.4 billion of the parent company's $15.3 billion in sales last year.
In all, 184 store names will be shortened, giving the company 423 Macy's stores across the country and in Puerto Rico and Guam.
When the signs change, four department stores chains with deep Cincinnati roots will have expired in the last 20 years: Shillito's, McAlpin's, Pogue's and Lazarus. Simon Lazarus founded Lazarus in 1851 in Columbus. His descendants became important figures in Cincinnati society.
Federated has six Lazarus-Macy's stores in Greater Cincinnati - downtown, Anderson Towne Center, Sycamore Plaza, Kenwood Towne Centre, Northgate Mall and Tri-County Mall - plus one in Northern Kentucky at Florence Mall.
Federated will continue to operate its regional chains through three divisions and organizational structures.
"This divisional structure enables us to operate under one nameplate while continuing to reflect the unique regional differences in buying and merchandising that exist among our markets," Lundgren said. "This traditionally has distinguished Federated from other department store retailers, and we believe this approach represents a clear competitive advantage for us."
The company did not say how much money it expects to pay for new signs and the elimination of its regional store names from such things as shopping bags, credit cards and employee nametags. It only said that the cost would represent an "immaterial" fraction of its $600 million-a-year capital expenditures budget.
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