Retail Consolidation Could Continue With Federated, May

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Federated Department Stores Inc. is in early discussions to buy rival May Department Stores Co., according to a report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday that cited people familiar with the matter.

Federated and May held merger talks once before in 2002. Those discussions fell apart partly because of management issues. What's different this time is that May chairman/CEO Gene Kahn abruptly resigned Jan. 14, leaving open the possibility that Federated CEO Terry Lundgren could lead a combined entity.

St. Louis-based May operates 501 department stores under names such as Lord & Taylor and Marshall Field's. It has a market value of about $9.2 million. Federated, Cincinnati, runs 459 stores, including Macy's and Bloomingdale's, and has a market value of $9.7 billion.

The value of a possible deal is unclear, according to the Journal.

Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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