Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — A decision on the fate of I. Magnin is expected in about a week, with sources saying that up to eight of the 12 units could be history before I. Magnin’s parent, R.H. Macy & Co., emerges from bankruptcy at the end of December.
Sources also said Magnin has approached May Department Stores Co. and Jacobson’s, the specialty chain, to discuss the units. May Co. operates Lord & Taylor, which has no stores on the West
Coast and could move into I. Magnin sites. Jacobson’s, also without stores in California, is on an expansion drive.
In addition, sources said that of the Magnin stores that are retained, a few may be converted to Bloomingdale’s or other formats, such as a Macy’s or Bullock’s men’s store.
An R.H. Macy spokesman said Sunday, “No final decisions have been made, and a variety of options are being considered.”
Bankruptcy law permits retailers to easily get out of leases and return merchandise to vendors without penalty. Macy’s is scheduled to merge with Federated Department Stores and emerge from bankruptcy on Dec. 30. A special meeting of Federated shareholders has been set for Nov. 20 in Cincinnati to approve the merger.
Reached Friday, Scott Bowman, Magnin’s chairman and chief executive officer, said he couldn’t validate or deny the reports. “Magnin’s operating performance shows dramatic improvement, and we are continuing to run the business as an ongoing business. Anything out of that course is not part of the focus,” Bowman said.
The four stores Magnin would retain are in Union Square, San Francisco; San Diego; Beverly Hills, and Phoenix. Some sites, including Union Square, are said to be under consideration for conversions to Bloomingdale’s units, a division of Federated.

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