*Federated to Combine Macy's Mail, Web Operations

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Federated Department Stores Inc. yesterday said it consolidated Macy's e-commerce and direct mail operations under a single structure.

Starting this fall the Macy's By Mail catalog operation will merge with macys.com, uniting the planning, merchandising and support functions. The goal is to sell almost identical products across all Macy's retail channels. The consolidation should be completed by February.

"With this action we will combine those two organizations so that we'll have a very closely coordinated online and catalog operation," said Carol Sanger, vice president of corporate affairs at Federated Department Stores, Cincinnati.

There will be no changes in the Macy's By Mail catalog prior to next spring, Federated said. Through the fall, 15 direct mail catalogs are scheduled to go out.

Federated announced in March it would consolidate its disparate e-commerce and catalog operations under Federated Direct, a new division designed to create retail cohesion within the group.

The division now holds responsibility for bloomingdales.com, Bloomingdale's by Mail, macys.com, Macy's By Mail, and Fingerhut Companies -- direct-to-consumer brands that account for nearly 10 percent of Federated Department Stores' 1999 revenue of $17.7 billion.
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