Re: New Monopoly in Dept Stores -- Federated and May Co to Merge

Second, the traditional old line dept stores actually had considerable

> variety. The modern mgmt have eliminated a lot of departments and > special services. Gimbels, for example, had a scouting/camping dept, > art supplies dept, and bookstore. >> I think this sort of gradual fade into irrelevance is what terrifies >> the heads of Federated and (heavily-indebted) May. ... > It's their own fault, and merger won't fix it, anymore than merging > the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads saved them.

It seems obvious to me that the traditional, old line, department stores have been replaced by *malls*. No, it's not one big store with clothing, furniture, housewares, and whatnot all under one name, but effectively the malls today have all the same stuff in a series of small independent or chain stores under one roof. It's better in some ways because there will be competing stores in a mall selling similar merchandise, while a department store does not have competing departments.

So, it seems that malls have both centralized and de-centalized the retail industry at the same time. The telecom industry seems to be working its way toward that same kind of situation.

Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.

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Bill Ranck
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