Lundgren began his retailing career in 1975 as a trainee with Bullock’s, a Los Angeles-based division of Federated. He held positions of increasing responsibility over the next decade in buying, store management, human resources and senior-level store management, as well as serving as the division’s director of stores. Lundgren was named senior vice president and general merchandising manager of Bullock’s in 1984. In 1987, he was named president and chief executive officer of Bullocks Wilshire, then an upscale chain of specialty department stores owned by Federated.
Lundgren left Federated in 1988 to join Neiman Marcus, where he served as executive vice president and shortly thereafter was named chairman and chief executive officer. He returned to Federated in April 1994 as chairman and chief executive officer of the Federated Merchandising Group.