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May Says It Will Have to Work on 3 Newly Acquired Divisions

October 29, 1986|MARTHA GROVES | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The chairman of May Department Stores, in an uncharacteristically frank meeting on Tuesday with industry analysts, zeroed in on three divisions acquired in its merger with Associated Dry Goods: Lord & Taylor, Robinson's and Caldor.

"We have to fix Caldor and Robinson's and enhance Lord & Taylor," said David C. Ferrell. As for Robinson's, which is losing money, he said: "We want to stop the blood-letting at Robinson's; we have to put a tourniquet on that."

He noted that much of May's success in improving profitability rests with that trio. Lord & Taylor specialty store should be more productive, he said, and the company expects soon to take a one-time charge against earnings after it clears the decks of some problem inventories at Robinson's and at the Caldor discount store chain.

Meanwhile, another former Associated executive has departed in the aftermath of the big retailing merger and been replaced by a longtime May manager. May announced Monday that Don R. Clarke was named chairman and chief executive of Caldor, effective Nov. 3. He has worked in various divisions of May Department Stores since 1977 and most recently has been chairman of the company's Venture discount chain. At Caldor, he will replace James M. Guinan, who resigned.

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