MACY'S HEADS INTO S. CALIFORNIA

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Macy's officially parades into southern California this month, with a two-week, $5 million-plus ad blitz promoting the conversion of Broadway and Bullock's stores into the historic retail brand.

Macy's West, a division of Federated Department Stores, has converted 23 Bullock's locations, including 14 stores in Los Angeles County, to the Macy's name.

That makes Macy's the largest retailer in the West, with 98 stores in six states with a combined $3.7 billion in annual revenue.

The TV, radio and print effort will include surrealistic TV spots from Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, themed "Macy's, everything you love about shopping."

CLOTHING, HOUSEWARES IN SPOTS

The spots show housewares in an art gallery setting, and famous name labels including Polo and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as Macy's own private-label brands.

The campaign also includes Hispanic versions of the TV and radio spots.

Federated's Bloomingdale's chain will also open its first four southern California stores this year.

Macy's won't be able to march through southern California without resistance, however.

MAY REMODELS, EXPANDS

May Department Stores Co. has begun a $2 billion remodeling plan on its 70 stores, including 46 Robinsons-May stores, and plans to add more stores in fast-growing San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

"They'll be slugging it out with the May Co., which is no easy task," said Alan G. Millstein, publisher of Fashion Network Report.

May "has very sharp prices and very sophisticated marketing and merchandising expertise," he said. "It's going to be a boom for the local media."

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