Federated gets behind mall-based multichannel concept

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Federated Department Stores has taken a stake in The Epicenter Collection, the new mall concept designed to showcase catalogers, e-tailers and individual brands.

Gordon Group Holdings, which first developed The Epicenter Collection several years ago, announced yesterday that Federated has leased a former Lord & Taylor store in

Delaware to Epicenter in exchange for an equity interest in the company.

The first Epicenter will open in mid-2008 and will occupy an 181,000-sq.-ft. anchor location at the Christiana Mall.

Each Epicenter merchant partner will operate its own distinct, branded retail location.

Convergent Retail, the Gordon Group company that is developing Epicenter, will provide merchants with a systems package intended to make their entry into retailing as effortless as possible.

Using Epicenter's proprietary hand-held shopping device SpreeGo, consumers will be able to shop Epicenter merchants with the same point-and-click functionality that they have on the Web. Shoppers will be able to order products for free home delivery or purchase items to take home.

Based on the success of the concept, Convergent Retail plans to open 100 Epicenters sites over the next few years.

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