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Federated Buys St. Louis-Based May Company

May Co. owns the Famous Barr chain. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Officials with Federated Department Stores say the purchase of St. Louis-based May Company will mean layoffs.

May Company, which owns such department stores as Famous Barr and Lord and Taylor, has been a fixture of downtown St. Louis for more than 90 years.

It has about 6,000 employees in the area. And, while Federated says it will make St. Louis home to one of its major operating divisions, analyst Julie Niemann, with R.T. Jones, says that probably won't happen.

"This basically looks like an American Airlines-type promise. As we take over TWA, we become a hub and then we become de-hubbed," Niemann said. "I would be very surprised to see Federated have any major corporate operations here in St. Louis."

Niemann predicts that 2,500 to 3,000 May workers in St. Louis could get pink slips, once the $11 billion buyout is complete later this year.

To hear a report from NPR's Scott Horsley, as it aired on Monday's All Things Considered, click here.


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