We all know that the May Company was bought by Federated, so all Foley's, Famous-Barr, and Marshall Field's are turning into Macy's. Or something. It's hard to follow. But what all this merging means for the fashion industry is less outlets for designers to peddle their wares. If Marshall Field's was the only person in town that carried Jhane Barnes, and now that store is a Macy's ... where can you go
to buy a Barnes shirt? You can see the problem the fashion industry is facing in a period of mergers and acquisitions both in retailers like the May/Federated thing and conglomerates that are buying up brands left and right (LVMH I'm looking at you). Larger brands like Polo Ralph Lauren will be just fine. They own their own stores and have lines that span from reasonable (Chaps RL, Polo Jeans Co.) to ultra luxe (Purple and Black labels). The smaller and store (obviously) brands are going to be the ones that suffer in these situations - names like Evan-Picone and Sag Harbor. Where will all of this take the fashion industry ... to something like Taco Bell in Demolition Man
or will it just weed out the weaker brands that were destined to fail anyways? Only time will tell.