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Most of the NDSG's 300-person merchandising team will be kept intact, including Mike Nemoir, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of home, "who is staying on board," Bergren said.
Michael MacDonald, chairman and CEO of the NDSG, resigned his post prior to the closing of the acquisition.
Saks Inc.'s corporate merchandising team for the NDSG will not join the newly combined chain.
The retailer will hold on to the NDSG's nameplates, which include Carson Pirie Scott, Younkers, Herberger's, Bergner's and Boston Store.
"[The NDSG's] assortment is on the better side, we tend to be more moderate in home." Hence, Bon-Ton will drop some moderate lines in the trade-up process.
Expect bold changes to Bon-Ton's private-brand assortment, as well as its furniture business, where the vendor base differs significantly from the NDSG's, he said.
The NDSG's Jane Seymour and Living Quarters exclusive home programs will roll out to Bon-Ton's stores in June.
However, the retailer sees an opportunity to expand the NDSG's private brands -- the home line from actress Jane Seymour, and the Living Quarters collection -- and capitalize on the retailer's internal product development department, "one of our weaknesses here," Bergren said.
The retailer expects the NDSG's private brands to reach Bon-Ton's stores in the fall of 2006.
Marketing and merchandising functions for the combined operation will operate out of the NDSG's existing headquarters in Milwaukee, while Bon-Ton's administrative and sales support functions will remain at its corporate offices in York, Pa.
For now, Bon-Ton and the NDSG will operate as separate divisions, with Michael McDonald, NDSG's chief executive officer, reporting to Bergren.
* The NDSG includes 31 Carson Pirie Scott stores, 14 Bergner's stores, 10 Boston Store stores, 40 Herberger's stores and 47 Younkers units.
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