NEW YORK — Macy’s is moving into downtown Philadelphia.

The Federated Department Stores division is taking over the Lord & Taylor site, which has 354,000 square feet and once housed the flagship for the now-defunct John Wanamaker chain. Located at 12th and Market Streets, the L&T unit will close around June and reopen as Macy’s around August after some minor remodeling, the firm said Friday.

Another unit in downtown Philadelphia, Federated’s Strawbridge’s site, at 801 Market Street, will close June 1. Federated will try to find a buyer or replacement tenant for that space.

In addition, Federated said five underperforming L&T stores will be shut in late July or early August, leaving 49 L&T stores still operating in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Penn­sylvania, Florida and the District of Columbia.

The five L&T closings affect 615 workers and are in St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis; West County, St. Louis; Christiana Mall, Newark, Del.; Fairlane Town Center, Dearborn, Mich., and Northshore Mall, Peabody, Mass. It’s possible other L&T units will be sold individually. A few on Long Island were recently pulled off the market.

However, Federated’s main objective is to sell the L&T chain as an ongoing business, possibly to another retailer, a private equity group or a developer. Federated has said that it expects a transaction before the end of the year.

This story first appeared in the March 13, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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