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MINNEAPOLIS-As retail experts await Federated’s decision on a possible name change, Marshall Field’s said Monday it is in the process of a significant remodeling of its flagship 800,000-sf department store in downtown Minneapolis.

The plans will focus on the store’s interior throughout, with special emphasis on the “complete remodel” of the first floor. Frank Guzzetta, president and chief executive officer of Marshall Field’s, says the intent is to “add to the cache of downtown shopping” by offering shoppers a large assortment of products, including more spacious departments, expanded merchandise assortments and new and exciting brands that are unlike anything else in retail.” While declining to say how much it was spending on the redo, the company indicated it was more than $10 million.

Among the signature items of the overhaul includes quadrupling the size of its Louis Vuitton boutique, which is the featured part of the first phase of the project. The boutique will relocate from its luxury designer items from the first floor to a 1,700 sf of new space and will be one of the largest Louis Vuitton boutiques in the Midwest with an expanded assortment of leather goods, luggage and accessories when it opens in late October.

Also part of the first phase is a new full-service optical center that will offer eye exams, contact lens consultations and fittings, and a wide assortment of eyewear from brands such as Christian Dior, Prada, Versace, Fendi and Gucci. The center opens Friday. In addition, Barbara’s Bookstore, a bookseller in the Chicago market, will open at the s Minneapolis store this fall in about 1,500 sf of space on the lower level. The bookstore will offer “a broad and diverse collection of books,” including quality literature, periodicals and children’s books, the company says.

Signoria di Firenze, maker of hand-embroidered Italian linens, will also expand its existing space on the lower level to 350 sf, and will open Monday, Aug. 29.Federated announced at the end of July that it intends to convert to the Macy’s brand several regional department store chains it is buying through its pending $11 billion takeover of May Department Stores Co. The conversions, which are expected to begin next year, will nearly double Macy’s national presence from about 400 to 730 locations.

The conversion, however, did not include Marshall Field’s 62 stores. Cincinnati-based retailer it would keep the Marshall Field’s retail banner, at least until it completes consumer research on the topic. Some retail experts see the extensive renovation of its flagship Minneapolis store as a sign that Federated considers the Marshall Field’s brand as distinct from Macy’s, and may want to keep that identity.

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