NEW YORK -- May Department Stores Co. reportedly is negotiating to buy the Albert Steiger Co., a 10-unit department store chain based in Springfield, Mass.
Meanwhile, reports concerning May Co. and R.H. Macy & Co. continued circulating Wednesday, with sources saying May Co. would be interested primarily in picking up some branches in the Atlanta and San Francisco markets in the event Macy's is broken up. Macy's is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and discussing a reorganization plan with creditors. Management wants Macy's to emerge from bankruptcy intact. However, Federated Department Stores is moving to merge with Macy's, having became a player in the proceedings by purchasing a half interest in a $1 billion secured claim against Macy's from Prudential Insurance Co.
Sources said the Steiger deal would involve purchasing at least six stores and converting them into units operated by May Co.'s Boston-based Filene's division and the Lord & Taylor division, headquartered here. May Co., based in St. Louis, declined to comment on any of the reports. Ralph Steiger, president and chief executive officer of Steiger's, said "I can't comment on any rumors. They haven't bought anything."
May Co.'s interest in Macy's and Steiger's reflects the retailer's desire to grow but at a cautious pace set by its chairman and chief executive, David Farrell. "David Farrell is a one-step-at-a-time person," said a source. "Allen Questrom [chairman and ceo of Federated] goes for the big, bold strategy. They're both merchants, but with different slants.
"Farrell is more detail-oriented and in the trenches," the source continued. "He doesn't have a big ego and doesn't need to be the biggest. He takes risks, but they're prudent risks to increase earnings and prosper. If something is too rich for him, he won't go for it."
May Co.'s last big play was for Marshall Field's in 1990, but it was outbid by Dayton Hudson.
Steiger's, a family-owned, 101-year-old firm, has posted annual volume of $80 million to $85 million in the last couple of years.
According to trade sources, in the first six months of 1993, Steiger's lost $1.3 million. In 1992, the company lost $526,000 on sales of $81 million."It was once a very strong company, but it has been losing money for the past few years," one credit source said. The company reportedly has been having difficulty meeting bank obligations.
The stores average 90,000 square feet and are in malls and strip centers. Eight units are in Massachusetts, two in Connecticut. The stores offer a wide range of moderate and upper moderate-priced merchandise for the family, but no furniture, large appliances or sporting goods.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast