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CHICAGO-The fears of those hoping a vestige of the city’s commercial history would remain intact have come true. Federated Department Stores, Inc., will drop the Marshall Field’s name from 62 stores in the Midwest in favor of Macy’s next fall.

“We have great respect for the legacy and traditions of Marshall Field’s, and we carefully researched customer preferences and studied alternatives before making this decision to incorporate Marshall Field’s into the nationwide Macy’s brand,” says Federated Department Stores chairman, president and chief executive officer Terry J. Lundgren. “While the store’s name will change, much of what customers love will stay the same, including Marshall Field’s traditions and its outstanding record of community and charitable giving. As part of this name change process, we will do everything we can to honor the Marshall Field’s heritage, particularly in its Chicago birthplace.”

Innovative retailer Marshall Field began building his flagship store in 1892. The 62-store Marshall Field’s operation will now be managed from Minneapolis as Federated Department Stores’ Macy’s North division. That division also will oversee a Macy’s West store in Minnesota as well as an Ayres store in Indiana. One of the Marshall Field’s chain’s former owners was Minneapolis-based Target Corp.

City officials thought they were sending Lundgren a message earlier this month when they advanced a proposal to make the Marshall Field’s flagship store at 111 N. State St. a landmark. Besides requiring Federated Department Stores—and future owners—to preserve historical exterior and interior elements of the 1.6-million-sf building, 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus suggested placing plaques at all four corners of the building, which takes up an entire city block. “The name Marshall Field’s is so synonymous with Chicago,” Natatus said. “That should be a message to the corporate hierarchy.”

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