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CINCINNATI-Federated Department Stores’ operating income plummeted to $134 million during its third quarter compared to $687 million during the same year-ago period. The drop was mainly due to costs related to the integration of 400 stores in the former May Department Stores portfolio into the Macy’s banner.

However, same-store sales were up 5.9% for the period, which ended Oct. 28, as department stores outpaced other retail formats in general. Federated’s total sales came in at $5.9 billion, a 6% increase from the just under $5.6 billion they were during last year’s Q3. In the current quarter management predicts a same-store sales increase between 3% and 5%.

Sales in Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s stores in Florida were the strongest, while the men’s and children’s departments were favorable across the board, said Karen Hoguet, chief financial officer, during the company’s conference call. The home-store business, especially in the newly-converted stores, was the worst-performing category, she says.

Hoguet would not comment on a potential sale of the 700-unit Bridal Group of specialty store chains that Federated inherited through the May acquisition. When asked about Federated becoming a private company, like many other publicly-traded retailers have opted to do as of late she said: “We are committed to keeping our investment-grade status.”

Federated operates about 450 stores in 45 states, Guam and Puerto Rico under the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s banners. During its latest quarter the company opened four new units, Macy’s in Chula Vista, CA; Denver and Philadelphia, and a Bloomingdale’s in San Francisco.

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