Department-Store Superstar

Federated is erasing fabled retail names. Can it turn MACY'S into a national power and revive a fading industry?

For 127 years, shopping on Chicago's State Street meant one thing: Marshall Field's, the hallmark department store that has stood at that address since the White Sox were the White Stockings. Come September, the store's new parent, Federated Department Stores, will rechristen it Macy's, and loyal Marshall Field's customers are both angry and genuinely sad. "For some chain to come into Chicago and think we're New York is totally misguided," says June Cuci, 48, who has been shopping at Field's since her childhood. Even film critic Roger Ebert lamented the loss. "I thought the day would never come," he wrote. "I...

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