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Mink & Sons to Add 15 Macy's Rug Stores

Kenneth L. Mink & Sons is taking over the rug lease departments in 15 Macy's stores in metropolitan Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. The move was effective Aug. 31, according to David Mink, president of Kenneth L. Mink & Sons — and will bring Mink's total Macy's count to 95 stores.

The 15 stores were formerly part of Macy's North, which was merged into Macy's East earlier this year. The stores include the former Marshall Field's stores, including the flagship store on State Street in Chicago. Mink has operated the rug lease departments in Macy's East stores since 1997.

The former lease operator in Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis was BBT (Bashian Bros-Tudesko) which has operated the Marshall Field's/Macy's rug departments for several years.

Both David Mink and George Bashian, a principal of BBT, said the transition is proceeding smoothly. "Bashian Bros has a longstanding relationship with Mink and we were able to work out a fair and equitable transition that was agreeable to both companies," Bashian said.

BBT employees will continue at the Macy's stores for 90 days. "Bashian will continue to be one of our major suppliers and we look forward to working with BBT personnel," Mink said.

The changeover in the management of the Macy's rug departments came as a result of the merger of Macy's North into Macy's East, explained Mink and Bashian. "The company wishes to operate the rug leases in line with the corporate strategy of consistency throughout the system," Mink said. In the past two years, Macy's has brought all of its stores — except Bloomingdale's — under a single corporate name. One name allows the company to advertise nationally and strengthen a single brand.

Even with the strong corporate identity, Mink stressed that the Macy's rug departments are not cookie-cutter replicas of one other. "We merchandise our floors based on demographics. We don't treat this like a commodity business. We emphasize high-end products at such stores as Herald Square and Carle Place in New York, but we also have stores that feature more moderate prices," Mink said. "We fully intend that the State Street store in Chicago will maintain its quality image."

Major vendors at the Mink departments, in addition to Bashian, include Nourison, Oriental Weavers, Momeni, Karastan and Bokhara. "We already share major suppliers with Bashian, so the changeover in the Midwest will be an easy transition," Mink said.

In addition to the 15 former Macy's North stores, Mink operates the rug lease departments in 80 Macy's East stores that are spread from Maine to Virginia. Kenneth L. Mink & Sons was formed in 1975 and specializes in operating department and furniture store rug lease departments. Macy's also operates rug departments in many Macy's Central, Macy's West and Macy's Florida stores. In those stores, the rug departments are run by the Macy's Home division, under the direction of senior buyer Keith Arlinghaus.

(Reported by Lissa Wyman, rug editor at Furniture Today, a sister publication of HTT.)

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