• Andrea Lillo

Bloomies joins Web, catalog

CINCINNATI — In a complete reversal of the organizational structure under which Bloomingdale's By Mail had been operating, the catalog is being integrated into a new Federated Department Stores division called Bloomingdale's Direct.

Bloomingdale's by Mail had previously presented unique product outside of the Bloomingdale's business. Within the Bloomingdale's Direct division, Bloomingdale's By Mail and bloomindales.com will share inventory and fulfillment operations and be serviced by a single planning and merchandising division under the supervision of Bloomingdale's Direct, which will also manage the consolidated finance, Web management, human resources and technology operations. Although the integration will not be completed until fall, Bloomingdale's Direct buyers will begin buying for both the catalog and on-line site immediately.

Franz Weiglein has been appointed to head the division. He joins Federated after 10 years with Lands' End, where he was most recently vp/gmm of men's.

"Franz Weiglein's career has been devoted to the expansion of leading-edge direct-to-consumer companies," said Dawn Robertson, president of Federated Direct. "He brings to the Federated team a breadth of financial, marketing and merchandising management expertise across all established and emerging channels. His appointment rounds out our Federated Direct management team and strengthens our growth strategy in direct retailing."

The move was made to reduce redundancies, streamline operations and create "a more efficient organization" across all channels," according to Jeffrey Sherman, chairman of Federated Direct, the direct-to-consumer branch of FDS that completed a similar restructuring of macys.com and Macy's By Mail.

"Federated is focused on growing its direct businesses, increasing profitability and reflecting a seamless brand and merchandise selection, whether it be in-store, online or by mail," Sherman continued. "As more customers turn to the Web for access to Bloomingdale's, this integration ensures that their transactions will be fully compatible and effectively managed across all channels."

"We look forward to expanding our brand through the Bloomingdale's Direct business," said Michael Gould, chairman. "Customers across the country will be able to enjoy the unique experience of selecting Bloomingdale's merchandise, as well as the celebrated special events that we'll bring to life on the web."

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