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News Updates: July 2005

All updates from the month of July 2005 are listed below.

MetroWest Daily News reports on Filene's closure
Written by Justin on July 29, 2005 at 8:07PM

Federated announces store closings
Written by Justin on July 28, 2005 at 4:48PM

  • Federated Department Stores made their long awaited announcement regarding the future of their stores pending merger with May Department Stores, and the result at the Natick Mall is likely not what was expected.
  • As it turns out, Federated will shutter the Macy's store at Natick Mall, and will move all operations into what is presently Filene's, under the Macy's banner. This is likely because May owns the Filene's building, and therefore does not have to pay rent. Additionally, Federated will have more rights regarding future construction as they own part of the property. However, Federated would be wise to put some money into the Filene's anchor, as it has remained virtually unchanged on the exterior (and parts of the interior) since the store remodeled and expanded in 1991, compared to the Macy's, which was new construction when it opened in 1994 as Jordan Marsh. This will leave GGP with a beautiful, 3-floored space that will be vacant, while new construction goes on next door. No chance that Nordstrom would want to open a year early in the old mall? Federated's press release is online at http://www.fds.com/ir/maymerger/template/pressrelease.asp?item_id=736315
  • Federated made no announcement about the Macy's Furniture Gallery in Framingham's Shoppers World, and so it is possible that this store will remain open.
  • In other malls in the region, Macy's will shutter it's anchor stores at the Northshore Mall in Peabody, Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua (NH), South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Warwick Mall in Warwick (RI) and Westgate Mall in Brockton. Filene's stores will be shuttered at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Cape Cod Mall (home store only) in Hyannis, and the Maine Mall (both home store and main store) in Portland (ME). No decision has been made about the Downtown Crossing stores in Boston, although rumors focus on Macy's operations moving to the legendary Filene's building, and then turning the Macy's into a Target. The Boston Globe has a story regarding this, it is online at http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/07/28/federated_says_330_may_stores_will_become_macys_bostoncom/.
  • Additionally, Federated stated in their press release that the profit-losing division of Lord and Taylor will not become Macy's, but did not give any further details. Other sites have reported that the chain will remain, which is a bit suspicious; rumors are still that Lord and Taylor stores will become either Bloomingdale's stores, which will remain untouched, or perhaps becoming the Marshall Field's luxury concept that has been suspected.
  • There's still an element of mystery to the Marshall Field's bit as well. Federated is yet to announce whether any of the Marshall Field's stores in the Midwest will remain with the Field's name. One website, KeepItFields.org, was cited by the Chicago Sun-Times, and is running a petition to keep the name intact. (side note: If you're interested in preserving a piece of Chicagoland retail history, be sure to sign). That story is online at http://www.suntimes.com/output/business/cst-fin-fields27.html. Ironically, Federated was also the company that pulled the plug on Jordan Marsh in 1996, and similar atitudes are being expressed right now in Chicago as they have a chance to save their store. Most who are opposing the renaming of Marshall Field's quoted Macy's as being known only for their parade, others have noted higher prices, and few seem to be in support of the proposed change. Marshall Field's is to Chicago what Jordan Marsh was to Boston; Chicago's Carson Pirie Scott is more similar to Filene's.
  • In total, 10 legendary nameplates will be retired in Fall 2006, closing the book on the many stores that, in effect, were all results of the American dream. Filene's, Famous-Barr, Robinson-May, Hecht's, Kaufmann's, Strawbridge's, Meier & Frank, Foley's, L.S. Ayre's, and The Jones Store will no longer exist.
  • That's all for now; stay with Framingham/Natick Retail for updates as they happen on the Federated/May merger.

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