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Stage Stores to acquire bankrupt department store chain — but not all of it


Gordmans is being rescued from liquidation — at least, part of it.

Stage Stores won a bid to acquire about half of Gordmans’ stores. The Omaha, Nebraska-based department store chain filed for Chapter 11 on March 13.

The retailer’s bid edged out Jeff Gordman, the former CEO of Gordmans, who also made a play to revive the bankrupt 106-store department store chain.

Based on the agreement, a subsidiary of Stage Stores will acquire a minimum of 50 Gordmans store leases. It also has the rights to assume leases for an additional seven stores and a distribution center; all of Gordmans’ inventory, furniture, fixtures, equipment and other assets at the 57 store locations; and the chain’s trademarks and other intellectual property.

The transaction is expected to close during Stage Stores’ first quarter of fiscal 2017, subject to the approval of the court administering the Gordmans bankruptcy and customary closing conditions, according to the retailer.

“We believe the Gordmans business model offers great potential and, without the burden of a high level of debt, unprofitable locations and an oversized infrastructure, we expect the business will be accretive to our earnings,” said Stage Stores’ president and CEO Michael Glazer.

“Gordmans’ stores are a natural complement to Stage, bringing beneficial diversification and scale to our business, while creating synergies through the use of our current infrastructure,” he said. “By acquiring Gordmans, we believe that we have an opportunity to benefit from its off-price competencies, deep connection with a youthful customer, and strong home and gifts businesses.”

Stage Stores is adding Gordmans’ “most desirable Gordmans locations” to its portfolio — a move that will give the chain “a strong Midwestern presence in markets generally larger than those we serve today,” Glazer added.

The chain plans to maintain the Gordmans brand, and hire “a significant number of Gordmans employees,” according to Stage Stores, which operates 798 specialty department stores in 38 states, and direct-to-consumer channels under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage nameplates.
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