By George Anderson
Having announced that it would change the banner of its Marshall Field’s stores to Macy’s, Federated Department Stores has evidently taken a pause to reconsider its decision.
According to a story on the Crain’s Chicago web site, the strong holiday sales registered at Field’s State Street flagship has caused Federated to look for ways to keep the venerated department store name alive.
How exactly Federated CEO Terry Lundgren and company would do that is a subject of discussion within the retailer’s corporate offices. Crain’s reports possible scenarios would involved selling Field’s branded goods, creating in-store Field’s shops inside other banners or perhaps keeping the State Street location operating under the Marshall Field’s name.
The most likely course of action, say retail experts who spoke to Crain’s, would involve keeping the flagship store open in Chicago.
Don Barliant, owner of Barbara’s Bookstore, runs one of his shops inside the Field’s store on State Street.
“The rebel part of me wants to single-handedly save Field’s,” he said. “You can’t pick a book about Chicago without Marshall Field’s being prominently mentioned. It’s not just a retailer, it’s an institution. Why would you throw that away?”
Evidently Federated’s CEO Terry Lundgren is wondering the same thing.
Moderator’s Comment: Will Field’s be able to replicate the type of performance it had during the past holiday season if consumers do not believe it is
the banner’s last Christmas? What do you think Federated is likely to do should it decide the Marshall Field’s brand is worth saving?
According to Crain’s, Terry Lundgren was impressed as “shoppers snapped up Field’s green clock Christmas ornaments and stood in line for up to five
hours to lunch under the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room.” –
George Anderson – Moderator