MGR PINS HOPES ON EX-MACY EXECS

Byline: Carol Emert

WASHINGTON — Merry-Go-Round Enterprises has hired two ex-R.H. Macy executives, who developed Macy’s plan of reorganization plan, to lead its own efforts to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Thomas C. Shull was named Merry-Go-Round’s president and chief executive officer and James Kenney was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Joppa, Md.-based company.
Shull and Kenney were hired from the turnaround firm Meridian Ventures, Hilton Head, S.C. Kenney is a partner at Meridian and Shull is president of the firm. At Macy’s, Shull was an executive vice president and Kenney was senior vice president, corporate planning.
Leonard (Boogie) Weinglass, a founder of MGR, remains as chairman but will relinquish the ceo title.
The changes are effective this week.
“I’m very relieved to have these guys in place because I just think they can do a better job than I’ve done,” he said in a telephone interview Friday from his home in Aspen, Colo. “I think the firm needs some new blood and a shot in the arm.”
Michael Sullivan,who is MGR’s current president, will remain with the company through a transitional period which will be of an undetermined duration, according to Weinglass. Isaac Kaufman will continue as MGR’s chief financial officer.
Shull said his plans for Merry-Go-Round include increasing the mix of women’s merchandise in Merry-Go-Round stores to 60 percent from 50 percent and possibly adding women’s apparel to the Chess King and Dejaiz chains. Shull also stated that he wants to close more stores, centralize the company’s buying, and lay off “a small number” of headquarters management people as well as delay the filing of the company’s plan of reorganization from next February until the summer of next year.
In addition, Shull stated that the company will streamline and centralize its supply structure by going “narrow and deep in terms of the vendors we partner with.” He would not say which vendors will remain with the company.
Additionally, Shull said that more of the chain’s unprofitable stores will be closed, buthe said the number would be “nowhere close” to the 200 shut in the last year. MGR operates 1,230 stores.
— Fairchild News Service

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