Are you crazy about Macy's? Federated Department Stores (NYSE:FD) sure hopes so. Come January it will strip 184 of its regional department stores operating under various names of their signage, replaced with the shiny Macy's moniker.

It may not seem like that big of a deal. It may even seem like a good idea to consolidate its various brands to just Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Then it could cash in on the synergy that comes from national marketing campaigns and everyone tuning in to watch holiday floats glide by in the name of Macy's.

Yet if that's the price that this move is ringing up, I'm not buying it. No, I have never stepped inside a Rich's in the Southeast or a Goldsmith's out in Tennessee. Bon? Lazarus? Sorry. However, having lived in Florida for the bulk of my life I am very familiar with Burdines.

Federated's 61 Burdines stores accounted for $1.3 billion in sales last year. As a Miami company it has always felt like the comfort food of department store anchors. At the highly trafficked Dadeland Mall, where Burdines sits smack-dab in the center of it all, it has always provided a little local color to the nationally branded mall scene.

It's not that I mind having a Dillard's (NYSE:DDS), Saks (NYSE:SKS), or Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) holding down a suburban mall. I certainly don't find walking into Macy's to be some abhorrent notion. However, Burdines has always felt like a local treasure. It's a chain that will use South Florida indie bands in its television ads. It feels warm, familiar, and attainable. It's the department store that I would take home to meet my mother -- if I could ever manage the heavy lifting.

Even if it's an illusory concept that money spent at Burdines stays in the community, I imagine that many shoppers may have no idea that it was actually a small wheel turning in the Federated machine.

I'm not one to stand defiantly before the wrecking ball of change. However, I'd be willing to bet that my feelings for Burdines are probably echoed by locals in other regions who will be impacted by the name swap. I'll go out on a limb and predict that Federated will suffer a dip in comps come 2005. Between the renamed stores simply cannibalizing sales of established units and locals suddenly feeling disconnected, I just can't see Federated winning this war in the near term. We'll see whether I'm wrong. My email box is always open for "I told you so" shots.

Will the name of one retailer win you over another? What will you be wearing today? Is it trendy? Do I match? All this and more -- in the What to Wear? discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers having his shorts mauled by the Burdines escalator at Dadeland Mall as a child. He did get a free pair of shorts out of the whole ordeal -- and a distant respect for escalators. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.