Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
2005 December 2
By Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested
Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman,
President, and Chief Executive Officer
Federated Department Stores, Inc.
Dear Mr. Lundgren:
Last week, I watched on
television the annual Macy’s holiday parade in
Nearly every major city has
similar traditions. Here in
With this letter, I wish to urge you to reconsider the complete removal of the historic names of traditional downtown department stores owned or to be inherited by Federated Department Stores. A historic department store name may be one of the intangible variables that marks the difference between success and failure for a store located in a traditional downtown district.
The rapid suburbanization of
Often, they come downtown for that special shopping experience in a store that has become like an old friend. In other cases, it could be for nostalgia, as they remember coming there as a child. And, others, such as me, shop there because of the significant history of the store to the city.
A store such as Kaufmann’s
has already had several changes over the years. The original, magnificent first
floor [which, regrettably, I never had the chance to see] was “modernized” in
the 1950s. Recently, a lot of office workers were laid-off, as Kaufmann’s
administrative jobs moved to
With the loss of the original name to a historic downtown department store, I fear that customer loyalty to that downtown department store will greatly suffer. With all of the “big-box” retailers, and now even the Internet, these people will no longer have a reason to go out of their way to patronize a Federated downtown department store.
Terry J. Lundgren 2005 December 2 Page 2 of 2
You do not want to lose these customers, because they will not automatically start to patronize Macy’s or other Federated stores. And, you do not have to completely change your plans to keep these customers.
Now, I understand the desire to create one nationally recognized chain, under the banner of Macy’s. I agree that this makes a great deal of sense from a marketing perspective.
So, I would suggest a compromise, one which has been implemented in the past by Federated Department Stores. Solely for the historic department stores in the traditional downtown districts, I suggest that a hyphenated name be used; here are a few examples:
Philadelphia’s Center City: Strawbridge-Macy’s
This pattern could be replicated for all of your historic department stores in the traditional downtown districts. This would continue historic traditions in those cities, while cementing the marketing connection with the national Macy’s chain.
Now, for Downtown Columbus,
it could be Kaufmann-Macy’s as well. However, the Lazarus name is of such great
significance to the history of
Lazarus-Macy’s—and, if the original Lazarus building is still available, perhaps it would make sense to relocate the store to the first few floors of that historic and more centrally located building.
I, respectfully, request that you consider this alternative prior to implementation of the Macy’s name change on all of Federated’s historic department stores in traditional downtown districts.
Glenn A. Walsh
Copy: Neil Penz, Downtown General Manager, Kaufmann’s Department
Audrey Guskey, Associate Professor of Marketing,