Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD) said on Tuesday it is planning to cut up to 6,200 employees beginning in 2006, including 1,700 in St. Louis at the corporate offices of May Department Stores Co. (MAY )

Federated also said it will change all 62 of its newly acquired Marshall Field's (search) stores to the Macy's nameplate by next fall.

About 4,500 positions will be eliminated beginning in March as Federated phases out May's divisional operations in Boston, Houston, Arlington, Va., and Los Angeles.

Federated had pledged not to cut any jobs as part of its acquisition of its rival before March 1.

Federated in August completed its $11.9 billion acquisition of rival May, creating a combined retailing powerhouse better able to compete against Wal-Mart (WMT) and upscale merchants. The merger combined more than 1,000 stores with $30 billion in annual sales.

The retailer said previously that it was eliminating 10 May nameplates and that it was studying whether to keep the name of Marshall Field's, a Chicago landmark. "We have great respect for the legacy and traditions of Marshall Field's, and we carefully researched customer preferences and studied alternatives before making this decision to incorporate Marshall Field's into the nationwide Macy's brand," Federated Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement.

Marshall Field's has stores in eight states in the Midwest.

Federated spokesman Jim Sluzewski said the company started a program on Tuesday to talk with the affected employees and try to find other positions for as many as possible within Federated.