Byline: Arthur Friedman
NEW YORK — Federated Department Stores is casting its vote in favor of the “Made in New York” plan being pushed by City Hall.
“We are very interested in it,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Federated Merchandising.
Lundgren met with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and other city officials last month to discuss the plan, which is aimed at reviving New York’s manufacturing base. Since then, Lundgren said, two of his merchandisers have had a meeting with two manufacturers here. He declined to name the companies.
Lundgren said Giuliani’s contention was that the city needs to bring some private label sourcing back from the Orient, and that stores would benefit by the fast-turn capabilities of local manufacturing.
“Our response was that as long as we can give quality, competitively priced merchandise to our customer, and help business in New York, we’re interested,” Lundgren said. “We told the mayor that the city needs to provide incentives to make costs competitive with our foreign sourcing, and I think he’s prepared to do something about it.”
Lundgren noted that Federated already does some local manufacturing for some of its private label goods, but not on a consistent, programmed basis. But if the city comes through with some solid cost savings, he would likely commit some of Federated’s private label production to the plan. He said he had no specific unit production goal in mind.
“The first step is to get a success story going,” he said.
As reported, the city’s Department of Business Services is coordinating the project. The initial phase of the program is focused on retail private label production with New York contractors, with hopes of expanding it to broader-based marketing and exporting initiatives.
City Hall has set a deadline of June 23 to announce further details of the project.