Federated’s Name Game Strategy
By George Anderson
One-by-one, the familiar banners that hung over regional department stores, such as Bon Marche, Burdine’s, Lazarus and others, were first hyphenated and then replaced by Macy’s.
Now that Federated Department Stores has agreed to buy May Department Stores’ holdings, including Marshall Field’s, Lord & Taylor, Famous-Barr, Filene’s, Foley’s, Hecht’s, Kaufmann’s, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May and Strawbridge’s, how long will it be before the Macy’s name first hyphenates and replaces most of those?
For some, Federated’s name game strategy is much ado about very little.
Marshall Cohen, senior analyst with NPD Group, told The Associated Press he believes the fact that Federated controlled all the regional chains bred a sense of sameness over the years.
“Was Burdines so different from a Macy’s? No, not anymore,” he said.
For some, the local name of a department store is a trip down memory lane.
Louetta Payne, 70, told the AP she remembered dressing up for a day at shopping at Rich’s when she was a child.
“Those days will never come back, and I’m not saying they’re better than now,” she said. “It’s just that there was a pride to it. What you bought there was unique.”
Kim Picciola, an analyst with Morningstar Inc., called Federated’s Macy-ization strategy “a sign of the times,” adding “we are more focused on national brands as a consumer these days than we are on regional brands.”
Moderator’s Comment: Should Federated continue to follow its ‘- Macy’s’ strategy with the stores it is acquiring from May or should it just convert to
the Macy’s banner from the get go? Will it make any difference to sales, even if Federated replaces the Marshall Field’s and Lord & Taylor banners with Macy’s?
You can put Eric Stauffer, a computer technician for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. interviewed for the AP story, under the non-plus column on the name
“What’s in a name?” he asked.
“Growing up, I remember going to Lazarus as a kid, but other than that, it’s a clothes store,” he said. –
George Anderson – Moderator