By Suzette Parmley
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA - Federated Department Stores, Inc. announced today that it will convert the Lord & Taylor store across from City Hall in Center City into a Macy's.
The company will also close five other underperforming Lord & Taylor stores in Missouri, Delaware, Michigan and Massachusetts.
The Lord & Taylor downtown is expected to close on or about June 1, after completion of a clearance sale that begins on April 2.
Federated said all employees at the affected store will be eligible for severance and outplacement assistance. In addition, employees of both downtown Philadelphia stores will be given first consideration for positions to be created at the new downtown Macy's store and surrounding Macy's locations.
After it undergoes minor remodeling, the Center City location, originally Wanamaker's, will reopen as a Macy's on or about Aug. 1, according to Federated.
"Shoppers and citizens can be assured that we will be protecting the "Shoppers and citizens can be assured that we will be protecting the former Wanamaker's organ and the Eagle," Federated spokesman Jim Sluzewski said.
He said the annual Christmas show will continue at Macy's. Earlier this year, Cincinnati-based Federated announced it was eliminating 78 mall stores - including four Strawbridge's in the region - as a result of its acquisition of May Department Stores Co. last year.
By April, Federated will sell or close all Strawbridge's anchor stores in shopping malls that also contain a Macy's.
The company said today that the downtown Strawbridge store will close on or about June 1, after completion of a clearance sale that begins April 2. Federated said it will seek buyers or replacement tenants for space currently occupied by Strawbridge's.
In February, Reading-based Boscov's said it would acquire 10 stores from Federated - including five Strawbridge's - in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.
Four of the 10 stores are in the region. They include the Strawbridge's stores at the Deptford Mall, Montgomery Mall, Oxford Valley Mall and Willow Grove Park mall.