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Stage Stores files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; operates multiple Gordmans locations in Kentucky

By Chip Hutcheson
Kentucky Today

Stage Stores, which operates 738 stores in 42 states — including multiple locations throughout Kentucky — has filed for bankruptcy.

Stage operates hundreds of Bealls, Goody’s, Peebles and Gordmans stores. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late Sunday. The Houston-based company said it is looking for a buyer and plans to reopen and liquidate 550 stores beginning Friday with others following the course of action in the next few weeks.

All Gordmans locations in Kentucky have been closed because of COVID-19.

Stage Stores operates hundreds of Bealls, Goody’s, Peebles and Gordmans stores. All Gordmans locations in Kentucky have been closed because of COVID-19.

Stage spent millions converting its department stores into Gordmans locations since 2017 in hopes to compete with discounters such as T.J. Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory.

Gordmans locations in Kentucky include Bardstown, Beaver Dam, Central City, Danville, Glasgow, Harlan, Hazard, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Leitchfield, London, Louisa, Madisonville, Mayfield, Maysville, Morehead, Mount Sterling, Paintsville, Paris, Princeton, Russellville, Shelbyville, Somerset, South Williamson and Winchester.

Some of those stores converted from Goody’s or Peebles to the Gordmans name in recent months.

In Madisonville, Peebles operated for decades in the Parkway Plaza Mall, but closed its doors Feb. 22 and had a grand opening as Gordmans on March 3. Just more than a week later, the business climate in Kentucky changed because of COVID-19 and resulted in the closing of all Gordmans locations.

In a Facebook post in early March, Stages Stores said, “Our 2020 vision? Converting all of our stores to Gordmans.”

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“The increasingly challenging market environment was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which required us to temporarily close all of our stores and furlough the vast majority of our associates,” Michael Glazer, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Given these conditions, we have been unable to obtain necessary financing and have no choice but to take these actions.”

Stages Stores stock plunged 22 percent after the bankruptcy announcement, and its shares are down more than 95 percent this year.

Analysts told the Washington Post that department store chains and mall-based retailers that sell clothing, housewares and other discretionary goods are at particular risk. Americans are increasingly shopping online instead of at malls, and analysts say that dynamic is likely to solidify in the coming months, even as states and municipalities begin lifting stay-at-home orders.

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