Federated Department Stores, Inc. today said that its stores will deepen assortments of patriotic-oriented merchandise in the fourth quarter in response to rising customer demand for holiday gifts that better reflect the country's mood following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The company's buyers are adding new items and increasing by as much as 50 percent orders for patriotic-themed merchandise in virtually every family of business as part of a focused "Spirit of America" holiday collection.
"As a retailer, this is an important part of what we can do to help Americans better express their feelings at this difficult and emotionally stressful time," said Terry J. Lundgren, Federated's president and chief merchandising officer. "Our customers have been asking for more patriotic merchandise, and we are responding in as genuine a way as possible by purchasing larger quantities of patriotic-themed products, primarily from domestic suppliers, and adding new items to the collection, some with charitable ties to benefit survivors of the September 11th tragedies."
Highlighting the Spirit of America collection at Federated stores this season will be two limited-edition items from Waterford -- an exclusive Stars & Stripes tree ornament that will retail for $30 and a crystal paperweight in an image of the American flag, retailing for $99. A heart-shaped Christopher Radko "Brave Heart" ornament with a Stars & Stripes motif will retail for $34, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Two other Radko collector ornaments also will be offered -- "America's Bravest," depicting a firefighter carrying an American flag, and "America's Finest," a police officer holding a folded American flag.
"These will be particularly poignant heirlooms commemorating a holiday season that will be unlike any other for all Americans," Lundgren said.
Also included in Federated's Spirit of America collection are numerous other items with patriotic themes, including jewelry, shirts and sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, ties and other apparel merchandise for women, men and children. An Old Glory quilt, tapestry throws and flag-themed dinnerware will help carry the Spirit of America into the home, as will candles, stationery, books, picture frames, towels and bedding. Proceeds from sales of a Towle silver picture frame, retailing for about $10, will benefit the United Way September 11th Fund.
In addition to the Spirit of America collection, Lundgren noted that Federated already has helped funnel more than $1 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations involved in disaster relief, recovery and family assistance in New York and Washington, D.C. through its charitable foundation and other in- store and employee volunteer initiatives.
Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $18.4 billion. Federated currently operates more than 450 department stores in 34 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, under the names of Macy's, Bloomingdale's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith's, Lazarus and Rich's, as well as macys.com, bloomingdales.com and Bloomingdale's By Mail. Federated also operates the Fingerhut subsidiary.
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