Cincinnati – Locally based Federated Department Stores Inc. plans to close and convert a majority of its Paramus, N.J.-based Stern’s department stores to its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s banners.

Stern’s will convert its stores in Willowbrook and Bridgewater, N.J., to Bloomingdale’s locations. The two stores are expected to close by mid-year and reopen in 2002. Eight additional stores, in Paramus, Wayne, South Plainfield, Ledgewood, South Brunswick, Jersey City, Woodbridge and West Orange, N.J., will change to the Macy’s banner.

These stores will remain in continuous operation through the transition. In New York, Stern’s will change its stores in Yonkers, Commack, Hicksville, Hampton Bays, Flushing and Douglaston to Macy’s locations. Likewise, those stores will continue to operate through the transformation. Stern’s stores in Toms River, N.J., and Brooklyn and Bay Shore, N.Y., will convert to the Macy’s banner under terms of current leases.

However, these locations are being evaluated for possible closure. Stern’s will close its stores in Garden City and Monmouth, N.J., and Massapequa, Lake Grove and Valley Stream, N.Y. The changes will result in a one-time charge of nearly $140 million.