Owner to shutter Gordmans store in Wyoming

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner of Gordmans is shuttering its stores in Wyoming and Saginaw.

A store closing sale sign was displayed on the sliding doors of the Gordmans at Wilson Town Center near RiverTown Crossings Mall Thursday.

When News 8 reached out to the store, manager Steve Jackson said he had no early warning of the shutdown.

Jackson said the store is expected to close its doors for good in May. Despite the announcement, a hiring sign remains outside. Jackson said the business is looking for temporary workers.

Gordmans planned to hire about 100 employees when it opened the 50,000-square-foot store in 2014. Jackson said Thursday it now employs 30 workers.

Jackson confirmed other stores would be closing but did not want to release the exact number, deferring to Gordmans owner Stage Stores.

Retail Dive reports Stage Stores plans to close roughly 200 of its stores, telling employees about 60 of the closures late last month. However, a Stage Stores official has not confirmed that number.

The Stage Stores employee tells News 8 the Saginaw and Wyoming stores are the only Gordmans closing in Michigan, with 12 other locations in the state remaining open. She said the cuts were difficult for the company to make but necessary to remain competitive.

Gordmans was in the process of permanently closing its stores when Stage Stores bought the retail chain out of bankruptcy in 2017, retaining 57 of the 105 stores. The other locations were liquidated and closed.

Last year, Stage Stores announced plans to convert all of its stores — approximately 700 — to Gordmans off-price businesses by mid-2020. As of Dec. 30, the company said it had converted 158 Gordmans stores to its off-price model.

However, January threw a curveball at the company. In a report to stockholders, Stage Stores announced holiday sales were lower than anticipated, increasing just 1.4% over the same time the previous year.

“While our positive comparable sales for the holidays did not meet expectations, we remain confident that our off-price strategy will lead to profitable growth in the future,” Stage Stores CEO Michael Glazer stated in the January report to investors, partially blaming the warmer holiday season.

But the company’s outlook remained positive even then, with Glazer saying “comparable sales are off to a strong start.”

Stage Stores says impacted workers will be given a severance package or offered positions at other company owned stores. As of Dec. 30, Stage Stores owned 611 stores besides Gordmans, including Bealls, Goodys, Palais Royal and Peebles.

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