Federated Department Stores, Inc today announced plans to bring Macy's e-commerce and direct mail operations together under one management umbrella, with the intent of integrating online and catalog merchandise offerings and making them more reflective of the Macy's store experience.

The new structure will be put in place incrementally through the fall season, to be fully in place by February 1, 2001. The Macy's By Mail catalog operation will be integrated into macys.com, with a combined merchandising, planning and support organization serving both the direct mail and e-commerce businesses.

Ultimately, when fully implemented in spring 2001, an edited and focused selection of the same merchandise available in Macy's stores will be available through a revamped Macy's By Mail catalog, as well as online at macys.com.

"We want the Macy's brand to stand for the same thing whether the customer is in our stores, shopping online or through the catalog," said Jeffrey Sherman, chairman of Federated Direct, the division that encompasses the company's direct-to-customer segments that also include Bloomingdale's By Mail, bloomingdales.com and Fingerhut.

"Today, a customer shopping through Macy's By Mail does not always see all of the same brands or merchandise that customers see in our stores and online at macys.com. We think this bricks-and-clicks integration will enable us to better reflect the Macy's brand and to market the Macy's name in a more effective, coordinated manner."

Sherman said the Macy's By Mail customer will see no related changes in the catalog before Spring 2001 and customers will continue to receive catalogs during the fall season, with 15 direct mail catalogs scheduled to go out. Prior to Spring 2001, he said the following will take place:

-Merchandising and planning functions will be consolidated in New York for both catalog and online operations, and Macy's By Mail buyers will begin buying for both the catalog and macys.com effective immediately.

-Consolidated finance, web management, human resources and technical operations functions, supporting both online and direct mail operations, will remain in San Francisco, where macys.com is based.

-Both New York and San Francisco operations will report to Kent Anderson, president of Macys.com, and through him to Dawn Robertson, president of Federated Stores Direct.

-The restructuring will result in most current catalog and online staff transitioning to new roles and responsibilities in the combined organization. Ronald Ramseyer, president of Macy's By Mail, will remain through the transition.

"We're excited about this opportunity to further advance our strategy of bricks-and-clicks integration," Sherman said. "We believe this restructuring of Macy's online and catalog operations is an important step in moving that process forward."

About Federated Department Stores
Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $17.7 billion. Federated currently operates more than 400 department stores in 33 states under the names of Bloomingdale's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith's, Lazarus, Macy's, Rich's and Stern's. Federated also operates the Fingerhut, Bloomingdale's By Mail, Macy's By Mail, macys.com and bloomingdales.com direct-to-consumer catalog and electronic commerce subsidiaries.