Federated Department Stores Inc says that it has completed its previously announced merger with The May Department Stores Company.

A spokesperson for Federated said that it would be meeting with May in order to learn more about the business to make the best possible long-term decisions.

Federated, which expects to operate all May Company stores under their existing nameplates until at least the end of 2005, reiterated its pledge to May associates that it will make no workforce reductions or job eliminations as a result of the merger.

The company added that it has identified an additional seven duplicate stores in California, New York and Massachusetts that it intends to divest in 2006.