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Stage Stores to launch new off-price concept, open up to 35 stores in 2012

Houston -- Stage Stores said Wednesday it will launch a new off-price concept, called Steele’s, to be rolled out in small-town America.

The first three stores are slated to open on Nov. 1, in Beeville, Texas; Bastrop, La.; and Minden, La.; the company said it plans to open an additional 25 to 35 new Steele’s stores in 2012.

The 10,000-12,000-sq.-ft. Steele’s stores will sell apparel, accessories and home décor items at everyday values of 30% to 60% off department store prices, according to Stage. The new concept will be operated as a standalone buying division and will be headquartered in New York City. Chief merchandising officer Lisa Seigies, previously group VP of Ross Dress for Less, will head the division.

“Last year, we began developing our off-price concept with the goal to leverage our small market expertise with a complementary format to our department store model,” said Andy Hall, president and CEO, Stage Stores. “Our research indicates that there is significant growth potential in the under-served small market off-price niche.”

Hall added that the company’s expansion spurt isn’t limited to the Steele’s concept. He said that Stage plans to open 30 to 35 new department stores in 2012. The company currently operates 805 stores in 40 states under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names.

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