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Lord & Taylor's Walden Galleria store to remain open while chain is for sale

Western New York's only Lord & Taylor department store will stay open at the Walden Galleria mall while the department store's corporate owner prepares to sell the chain and focus on the September opening of Macy's in the region's four Kaufmann's stores.

The decision to keep the Cheektowaga Lord & Taylor open was announced Friday. The company said it will close four under-performing Lord & Taylor stores in Massachusetts, Delaware and Missouri, leaving a 49-store chain it plans to sell by the end of the year.

The changes are part of a series of store moves announced last year when the Federated Department stores, owners of Macy's, bought the May Company, owner of Lord & Taylor and Kaufmann's.

"It's business as usual," at the Walden Galleria Lord & Taylors, said Jim Sluzewski, spokesman for Federated. The store has been open since 1991.

Federated will gradually prepare to open Macy's in about 400 converted department stores nationwide, including Kaufmann's, in September. The four Kaufmann's at the four area malls will show sign changes this summer. The new Macy's name will be installed and then covered with banners that say Kaufmann's until the official opening weekend, now scheduled for Sept. 9, said Sluzewski.

A Macy's Manhattan-based spokesman explained that the inside of the stores will also begin to change this summer.

Macy's store brands will move in as Kaufmann's sell out. "It's a gradual process," said Orlando Veras, a Macy's spokesman. "The first thing you can see is an improvement in the merchandise."

e-mail: mkearns@buffnews.com

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