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Home Biz Struggling

It's not just May that isn't living up to expectations — the entire home business, chain-wide, was singled out as a significant weak spot by Karen Hogue, Federated executive vice chairman and chief financial officer, in a conference call with analysts and investors.

“The area of weakness that we think will continue as we go through October and the fourth quarter is home, which has continued to be weak,” said Hogue. “By the way, its weak everywhere.”

And, she emphasized, “Its not just a function of the centralization” of home operations throughout Federated. Unfortunately, the centralization has not given us the benefits we had anticipated yet. But we don't think it's hurt the business at all.”

The home business, she added is weak throughout Federated, including Macy's and Bloomingdale's, and “much weaker in the May division.”