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'Dramatic Change' Ahead at Fed's Macy's Home

Federated Department Stores' centralized Macy's Home operation will experience “dramatic change” come next fall, preceded by earlier related changes from now through next spring, Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet told analysts during the retailer's third-quarter conference call last week.

“We will continue to see some change in the fourth quarter and some in spring 2005, but not until fall 2005 will there be dramatic change,” Hoguet said.

Also by fall, Federated expects to be enjoying the fruits of its across-the-store “reinvent” remodeling program, which should by then be generating more than two-thirds, or 70 percent, of the company's sales, she said.

“The re-invents continue to outpace the total,” she explained. “Often it takes a little while before the bumps happen but it's relatively modest at this point, just because its hit so many of the stores. So, we are very pleased with what we've done there.”

For the holiday selling season, Federated is making efforts to reduce clutter, omit center aisle tables and clear up some signage, Hoguet said, to create a better shopping experience for customers.

In third quarter news, the company said inventories were down 3.3 percent.

“And we are in very good shape for the fourth quarter,” Hoguet added. “We have positioned ourselves better.”

Hoguet reiterated during the call the company's four-point priority list that it is pursuing to improve business: differentiate and better edit assortments; simplify pricing; improve the in-store shopping experiences for shoppers; and work on making marketing efforts more creative and cost-effective.

“So far we are very excited about what we've accomplished, and we're excited about where we are headed,” she said.

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