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Federated redirects its Internet businesses

Cincinnati — Come February, Federated will narrow its Internet businesses, eliminating the commerce portion of bloomingdales.com and redirecting online resources to macys.com, which will also undergo changes. Merchandise offerings in several ready-to-wear categories will be scaled back on macys.com, while its more successful online categories, including home, will expand.

About 100 people will be laid off in the process.

"Over the past three years, Federated has been aggressively pursuing strategies to capitalize on two of the strongest names in retail — Macy's and Bloomingdale's," said James Zimmerman, Federated's chairman and ceo. "We are pleased with our progress and we have learned a lot in that process as a result of the efforts of a number of very talented, dedicated people in the direct-to-customer part of our business. We remain committed to pursuing our Internet strategies."

As of Feb. 1, 2002, bloomingdales.com will transition from an online e-commerce site to primarily a marketing site that supports the Bloomingdale's store brand. Online services of the bloomingdales.com bridal registry will be maintained in partnership with WeddingChannel.com and the site will continue to offer electronic order forms for purchasing from the Bloomingdale's By Mail catalog.

At macys.com, categories such as petites, larger sizes, career and swimwear will be eliminated, while the successful areas of home, bridal, gifts and jewelry will grow. In addition, the Macy's catalog operation, which primarily served as a marketing vehicle for macys.com, will cease operations entirely.

"In the current economic climate, it is important that we use our available resources in the most productive way possible," said Jeffrey Sherman, chairman of Federated Direct, the company's direct-to-customer division headquartered in New York.

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