FEDERATED’S CALIFORNIA SUITE
7 MORE BROADWAYS WILL TURN INTO MACY’S
Byline: David Moin
NEW YORK — The shadow of Federated Department Stores continues to spread over California.
Propelled by its acquisition of Broadway Stores this year, the giant retailer has revealed the locations of seven more Broadway sites that will be converted to units of Macy’s, and it confirmed the locations of the four Bloomingdale’s stores that will be the first in the state.
In an announcement Wednesday, Federated said the seven Broadway stores that will be converted to Macy’s, beginning in February, are in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles; the Crystal Court wing of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa; the Sun Valley center in Concord; the Southland Mall in Hayward; Grossmont Center in La Mesa; Newpark, and in the Del Amo center in Torrance.
These seven conversions bring the number of Broadway sites being changed to Macy’s to 46.
And that number probably will go up.
Additional Macy’s are being considered for California, as are two more Bloomingdale’s sites for fall ’97 openings, Federated officials said. A strong possibility is that Bloomingdale’s will take over the Emporium store on San Francisco’s Market Street. That store will begin a going-out-of-business sale next week and is scheduled to close in mid-March.
Bloomingdale’s, which plans to make its California debut late next year, has been considering Beverly Hills, but the decision to open a unit in the Century City mall, just 10 minutes away, could kill that idea. Federated is “reviewing” that situation, an official said.
As reported in these columns Wednesday, Bloomingdale’s will take over former Broadway stores in Newport Beach, Sherman Oaks and Stanford.
Determinations have now been made on all but nine of the 82 Broadway sites acquired by Federated this year. These last units could be sold, converted to Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, or continue to operate as they are, Federated said.
The retailer’s surge into California reflects a feeling that the regional economy is turning around after years of recession.
“This is a market we know well,” said Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement Wednesday. Gould is a former ceo of Robinson’s in Los Angeles and of Giorgio Beverly Hills.
California, he added, is showing “real signs of improvement.”
Since the late Eighties, a Bloomingdale’s rollout — nationally and internationally — has been a live topic at Federated. Also on Bloomingdale’s agenda are new stores in Aventura, Fla.; Huntington, N.Y., and Atlanta.
“We always had the potential and opportunity to be in more locations but really needed to get all the cylinders clicking and understand the dynamics of Bloomingdale’s and how it’s distinctive from the competition,” said Jeffrey Sherman, Bloomingdale’s president, in an interview following the announcement.
Asked how the store is distinctive, Sherman replied, “It really starts with the scope of our offerings as a full-service entity, with women’s, men’s and kids’ apparel and home goods under one umbrella.”
Sherman said it’s “a major differentiator,” particularly over fashion specialty chains Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, which are entrenched in California, and Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York, which are building a presence there.
Competitive advantages, he said, include Bloomingdale’s private label merchandise, contemporary fashion and home products, and the Only at Bloomingdale’s program featuring exclusive designer items and branded goods.
Without the Broadway acquisition, Bloomingdale’s expansion West “would have been slower, but it would have happened,” Sherman said.
Broadway, once the largest department store operator in the West, provides the vehicle Bloomingdale’s never had. The store has been blocked out of certain malls in California either because it was barred by competitors or because the right real estate was just not available.
This year, Bloomingdale’s was blocked from entering the sprawling South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa, Calif., when large tenants rejected the bid. It is common for anchors to have a right of review of new tenants to protect themselves. Bloomingdale’s chose the Fashion Island mall, which houses Neiman Marcus, among other retailers, as an alternative.
In a separate announcement Wednesday, Federated said the Macy’s in Huntington, N.Y., will undergo a $20.6 million renovation next year. The 315,000-square-foot unit is set to close in late February and reopen in November.