NEW YORK — Persistent reports heated up Monday that Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus, is being wooed to head up Federated Merchandising Services.

Sources said it would require a big financial package and other incentives to lure Lundgren from Neiman’s, where he is credited with successfully growing the chain’s designer and bridge businesses.

Lundgren reportedly earned $650,000 in salary in 1993, with a bonus pushing his cash compensation close to $1 million.

Neither Lundgren nor Federated officials could be reached for comment.

The Federated position has been vacant since Roger Farah left in August to join R.H. Macy & Co., a move that triggered a bitter contractual dispute by Federated that has since been resolved. Farah will become president and chief operating officer at Macy’s in July.

Federated Merchandising is the buying and product development arm of Federated Department Stores Inc.

Running that division is not considered a choice role at Federated, but the job could be enhanced with greater authority and is perceived as a platform for bigger jobs within Federated. Observers also noted that the job could become more appealing if Federated is successful in its attempt to take over the bankrupt Macy’s.

Allen I. Questrom, chairman and ceo of Federated, is known to think highly of Lundgren. When he was ceo at Bullock’s, he hired Lundgren as an executive trainee and an assistant buyer. Lundgren rose through the ranks, becoming president of Bullock’s in 1987.

After Questrom became ceo of Neiman Marcus, he brought Lundgren along as executive vice president of stores.

One source said that Lundgren, who is known to be happy in his current post at Neiman’s, may have already been offered the Federated slot, but refused it. However, Federated may still be wooing him for the post.

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