Gordmans’ owner declares bankruptcy, seeks buyer for stores

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2020 at 7:23 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Gordmans employees and local officials celebrate a grand-opening of the Gordmans store on Feb. 18 at the Route 31 plaza in Albion. The store opened following a change-over from Peebles. That day Gordmans presented a check for $1,000 to Albion High School as a show of goodwill to the community.

ALBION – Less than three months ago a new Gordmans store opened in Albion. The store was one of 13 former Peebles stores to be changed over.

But less than a month after opening, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the store to cut back hours. By the end of March, the store closed, temporarily.

But now the parent company has declared bankruptcy, and the store will permanently close unless a new buyer is found.

Gordmans and Peebles, both discount department stores, are owned by Stage Stores, with Stage buying Gordmans in April 2017. Peebles opened in the Albion plaza in 2007.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Glazer said in a statement. “Given the conditions, we have been unable to obtain necessary financing and have no choice but to take these actions.”

Houston, Texas-based Stage Stores listed both assets and liabilities between $500 million and $1 billion, according to a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The company shut all its 738 stores and three distribution centers in March.

The company is seeking bids for the business or any of its assets, Stage Stores said in a statement.

If there isn’t a viable buyer, Stage will have to liquidate and close the stores.

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