Federated Department Stores Inc. has shaken up its marketing team, another sign the retailer is not satisfied with the response to many of the Macy's doors converted from former May units.
Peter Sachse, chairman and chief executive officer of macys.com, has returned to the chain's top marketing job. On Wednesday, he was appointed chief marketing officer and president of Macy's Corporate Marketing, replacing Anne MacDonald. Sachse had held the marketing slots before MacDonald took them over in February 2006. Sachse will keep his Web duties.
Neither Sachse nor MacDonald was available for comment.
At a press briefing last week after Federated's annual shareholders' meeting, Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer, gave an update on the conversion last September of 400 former May doors to Macy's. It wasn't very upbeat.
"The rate of change may have been too fast," he said. "We need to make sure consumers can keep pace. We threw a lot of change on May company stores very quickly."
Federated acquired May Department Stores Co. for $17 billion in 2005, and dropped venerable regional nameplates such as Marshall Field's and Filene's and replaced them with Macy's.
Lundgren also said the company would return the former May doors to a promotional calendar more closely resembling that of premerger days. It's been Federated's policy at its Macy's and Bloomingdale's divisions to become less driven by price promotions and discounting.
Sachse became the company's first chief marketing officer in June 2003. He was named chairman of macys.com in April 2006 after Macy's recruited MacDonald from Citibank, where she was chief marketing officer for Citi's Global Consumer Group. Her mission was to help make Macy's "America's department store." Previously, she worked at Pizza Hut Inc., N.W. Ayer Inc. and Grey Advertising.
"By combining the leadership of our marketing and online functions under Peter Sachse, we will be able to more effectively leverage the company's fast-growing online presence as we continue to build Macy's as a national brand through a broad range of marketing tools, including Internet advertising," Lundgren said in a statement.
"I would like to thank Anne MacDonald for helping us to define and broaden the reach of Macy's brand message, and for her efforts in launching the brand nationally last September….Going forward, our ultimate goal remains to grow sales by driving more customers into our stores and to macys.com, while positioning Macy's as a destination for fashion and affordable luxury," he said.Sachse, 49, will continue to be based in New York and report to Lundgren. Kent Anderson, president of macys.com, and Helaine Suval, executive vice president for merchandising at macys.com, will continue to report to Sachse. Earlier in his career, Sachse was president and chief operating officer of the company's Bon Marché division (now Macy's Northwest). He began his retail career with Macy's in Kansas City in 1980.
The $27 billion, 850-unit Federated will change its corporate name to Macy's Inc. on Friday.
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