• Andrea Lillo

Federated buys Liberty

Cincinnati — Federated announced last week that it had entered into an agreement to purchase Liberty House, the 150-year-old Hawaiian chain with 12 department stores and seven resort and specialty stores, which it will add to its Macy's West division.

The deal is expected to be completed by mid-July, and the new stores will eventually be converted to the Macy's nameplate. This will be the first time the department store chain will operate stores in the 50th state.

"The Liberty House acquisition represents an exciting strategic and growth opportunity for Federated," said James Zimmerman, Federated's chairman and ceo. "It gives us entry into a very attractive new market, along with the ability to extend and build on the strengths of the Macy's franchise and the considerable talents of the Macy's West organization."

Liberty House's locations include 11 department stores in Hawaii and one in Guam, ranging from about 38,000 square feet to more than 326,000 square feet. In addition, there are seven resort and specialty stores in Hawaii. The acquisition will add incremental sales of approximately $275 million annually.

"We are extremely pleased to bring Macy's to Hawaii and the Pacific," said Jeremiah Sullivan, chairman of Macy's West. "Macy's believes in Hawaii now and in the future, and we are committed to investing in the islands. Liberty House has a long tradition in Hawaii, and we are enthusiastic about building on its history."

Because of its distinct island lifestyle and culture, Hawaii will be the only market in the division to have local buyers focused specifically on Hawaiian-made and island-appropriate merchandise. "The local buyers know this market — the tastes of residents and visitors, and the island trends," said Robert Mettler, Macy's West president.

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