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Macy’s Might Be Considering Consolidation

Struggling retailer would fold four regional offices into two

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In light of a poor third quarter showing, Macy's Inc. (Cincinnati) is said to be considering a consolidation that would reduce its four regional offices into two.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, sources said the plan would fold Macy’s Florida in Miami and Macy’s Central in Atlanta into the New York-based Macy’s East and San Francisco-based Macy’s West divisions.

A Macy’s spokesman declined to comment directly on the speculation, which surfaced Thursday, a day after the retailer reported a net loss of $44 million for the third quarter. “We can’t comment on rumors, but we are fully focused on running the business for holiday,” spokesman Jim Sluzewski told WWD.

Same-store sales fell 6 percent during the quarter.

“While we are hopeful for the fourth quarter, I have to caution we are less confident about spring 2009,'' cfo Karen Hoguet said on a third-quarter earnings conference call with analysts last week. “We are increasingly concerned we won't see the improvements that we had anticipated as recently as a month ago.''

The company is delaying store openings and canceling other projects to conserve cash, Hoguet said, cutting its 2009 capital expenditure budget to $550 – $600 million from about $1 billion.

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