Federated's Slow Ride On The Up Escalator

Allen Questrom doesn't look like a man who has been to hell and back. Tall, slim, tan, and well-dressed, the top executive at Federated Department Stores Inc. epitomizes the soigne Seventh Avenue look. It complements the message that he is trying to impart to employees, suppliers, investors, and the press: After two years of the most complex and expensive bankruptcy ever seen in retailing, Federated emerged from Chapter 11 a full six months ago and is doing just fine, thank you. The new Federated, says Chairman and Chief Executive Questrom, "is on an incline, not a decline."

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