It all comes down to VALUE. The customer will seek it out like a shark senseing a milliliter of blood in the water. FD does not offer VALUE. They give aphorisms about customer service and don't fulfill them. They stock the truly inferior house brands and overcharge. They cut staff until customers walk out. They won't fix parts of the infrastructure into it is broken. Foget retail theater and offer real value and the customers will flock to FD stores. Until then it will be a slow ride on a downhill sled to the right of the graph. Good luck to all !
MAKE NO MISTAKE!
If it wasn'r for the movie called "Miracle on 34th Street", there would be no Macy's, Federated's 800-some department stores would be called Lazarus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do your research!
Care to retract the statement about Lazarus being the backbone of Federated Department Stores? Keep making those look-alike vehicles for GM ... and stick to those high-margin departments as department stores keep on losing ground!
"1945: Federated Department Stores president Fred Lazarus, Jr., came to Houston to visit his son who was stationed at a nearby Army camp. Mr. Lazarus discovered that Foley Bros. was for sale and bought it."
Oh, and by the way ...
"MOST major department stores are dominated by family dynasties�Macy's, Gimbels, Neiman-Marcus, Atlanta's Rich's. The biggest dynasty of all is perpetuated by the descendants of German immigrant Simon Lazarus, who settled in Columbus in 1850 and started a store that eventually blossomed into Federated Department Stores, the largest U.S. department-store chain. Federated's 60 outlets include New York City's Abraham & Straus and Bloomingdale's, Boston's Filene's, Miami's Burdine's and Houston's Foley's. Last week President Ralph Lazarus, 50,..."
""We like merchandising; it is in our blood," said the top man in the nation's top department-store chain last week. For cherubic Fred Lazarus Jr., 73, chairman of Federated Department Stores, Inc., this enjoyment of selling has paid big dividends. Last year for the first time Federated edged Allied Stores as the nation's top retailer. Last week Federated reported its best earnings ever: six-month profits of $7.9 million from sales of $280 million.Fred Lazarus regards Federated pretty much as a family affair. Fortnight ago Fred's son Maurice, 43, was named president of..."
"As interested as Alice in Wonderland, Houston shoppers last week crowded into a new kind of department store�window-less,* monolithic Foley's. On the opening day, 200,000 customers came to blink at the indirect lighting, peer through streamlined showcases at $6,500,000 worth of merchandise and enjoy the air conditioning (it was 89� outside).They did more than just inspect. The first day's receipts were around $250,000, some 2� times as much as Foley's had ever grossed at its outgrown store. The jingle of cash registers was merry music to Foley's chubby boss, Fred Lazarus..."
Dec. 9, 1946 "For stockholders of Federated Department Stores, Inc., the news was the best yet. At their annual meeting in Manhattan last week, President Fred Lazarus Jr. reported sales up 28% to $246 million (for the year ending Nov. 2), profit up a whopping 90% to $11 million. This made Federated the third biggest moneymaker in the department-store field (first and second: May Dept. Stores Co., Allied Stores, Inc.). For part of this, stockholders could thank the general high level of U.S. retailing. But they could also thank round-faced little Fred Lazarus, 62, ablest of Ohio's famed Lazarus brothers,..."
FROM ARTICLE: Maurice Lazarus '37; was leader at Filene's
<<Mr. Lazarus worked at Foley's Department Store in Houston from 1945 through 1958, rising to executive vice president. He was made president and treasurer of Filene's Department Store in 1958. He was president of Filene's through 1964 and was the Boston-based store's chairman of the board until 1965. He remained active in the company as chairman of its finance committee through 1982. >>
.......... I guess you could say Lazarus was also the backbone of May Co. ... seeing as how the Lazarus family were the architects of May's two most successful divisions!!!
All the back biting and useless name calling between May and FD people is nonsense. FD has been in a continual reinvention since it's near death brought about by Robert Campeau. Federated was just getting back on their feet when the Macy's bankruptcy fell, literally in their lap. After Questrom left and the Zimmerman team took over the combined Macy's conglomeration dribbled along until where it picked up a little steam in the early '00's.The stock was so undervalued it could do nothing but go up since no one was driving the company off of any cliffs. However the company has been showing rather miserable returns all along. I do not expect these returns to get much better in the long term. Short term merger related stuff ,perhaps . The investment bankers all made bundles of money combining these two companies so the spin is pro Lundgren (the man with vision). But what made so much money being put together will make more when it is ultimatley taken apart.Make no mistake the current team will take a misstep, the stock price will fall and private equity will buy it and cut it up again. It is all but inevitable. The only question is when to get out , what price is the right price to dump the stock. My guess is $45. a share. Then the shorts will sell with a vengence. Guess what, the employees will be the last to know and the spin cycle will begin anew. Just watch with your eyes wide open and be careful with your 401k contributuions. Keeping this company alive is all about making lots of money for Wall Street and nothing to do with creating Americas Store. It is just shameful that good hardworking people get displaced in the process. The game is not about selling goods but about creating wealth by shuffling assets.
<<All the back biting and useless name calling between May and FD people is nonsense. FD has been in a continual reinvention since it's near death brought about by Robert Campeau.>>
That is all very true. However, let's not forget that nothing was fundamentally wrong with Federated's business or manner of operating. They were doing well on the merchandising side. Not great, but they were still doing very well. The bankruptcy was caused by too much leverage.
<<However the company has been showing rather miserable returns all along. I do not expect these returns to get much better in the long term.>>
Therein lies the problem ... The fundamental problem is that times have simply changed. In simpler times, the local department store was the purveyor of luxury. It was an aspirational store except for the most high-end of goods.
Nowadays, stores like Nordstroms and Saks are geographically and financially within reach of the customer that used to look to the department store as a place to buy luxury. America has gotten richer and the department store now provides fairly mainstream goods.
Macy's mantra "affordable luxury" is great ... except that I don't find most of the stuff they peddle very affordable.
Hence the subject of this thread: VALUE!!! If you are selling mainstream goods, you have to 1) provide a reason to get people to come in your stores (a broad assortment of goods); and 2) Provide a reason to purchase your goods (style and value!!!).
Macy's needs to become an upscale Target, IMO. A broader selection of hardlines and everyday goods to encourage more frequent trips. A pleasant, consistent shopping environment. If groceries and consumables work for Target, why not Macy's.
In other words, the Macy's star should evoke the same pleasant images the Target bulls-eye does.
it was foolish to keep the may people in areas that they had no business being in. That they have not experience with FD. That is why we have all the probs today. The may people are screwing up left and right
It was a family-run outfit and they were very successful ... and best of all, the employees didn't have all the cynicism of most other retail employees. It was a company store ... and they took care of you, or at least there was that kind of a family atmosphere.
Maurice Lazarus '37; was leader at Filene's
F&R Lazarus & Co. History
Federated Dept. Stores History
"Yea they should have fired all the May seniors."
This is sure a brilliant statement. From day one, FD knew they would have to keep the best talent from both organizations to run the combined entity. It would have been foolish to just fire all of the May senior management. You can make the case of poor decisions on a person by person basis. However, a blanket statement like this is just dumb.
"The the problem lies with ex-May management that aren't doing a very good job communicating things downward."
And you know this how? I thought your last retail job was that wonderful, now extinct Lazarus division?
How can you make this statement? Facts please. "
You surely know 75% of the postings on this board are not based on facts, they are based on opinions.
I do not think they should have fired ALL of the may people but they could/should have brought more macy's folks into the fray more frequently to give us a much needed hand ....
Where is their brain???in the hot bathrooms being fried???