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Rumors around town about the fate of the Bealls department stores are circulating. The Athens Review reached out to its parent company Stage Stores and determined the Athens store is not closing but changing over to Gordmans in 2020.

Gordmans is a chain of off-price department stores founded in Omaha, Nebraska.

The conversions generally take two weeks and cost approximately $80,000 to $125,000.

This change will effect Athens, Gun Barrel and some have reported the Kaufman store may close completely, but that has not been confirmed.

Stage announced it is converting approximately 100 stores with 89 in 2019 and an additional 37 by March of 2020 with more to follow.  

“For the last few years, the off-price sector has seen tremendous growth despite the challenges that have faced traditional retailers,” said Michael Glazer Stage CEO. “These results in off-price were the catalysts for us to invest in Gordmans when the opportunity presented itself in 2017 and we have since transformed these stores into a true off-price concept that represents significant growth potential.”

Gordmans filed bankruptcy and liquidated in 2017 and Stage acquired the chain then. It proved so successful it decided to convert some of its own stores.

The current employees will have the opportunity to keep their jobs and customers have received the change well. The company will also host a job fair where it will hire additional employees.

“Shoppers are responding positively to Gordmans off-price concept, which means Gordmans has a wide array of popular brand name merchandise for the entire family at the lowest possible prices compared to department stores,” a written statement from Stage said.

One change will be an expansion to the home department of the store. The company also boasts “fresh new merchandise deliveries arriving weekly; there will always be something new to discover when it comes to popular name brand apparel, home décor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the entire family.”

Guest will also be able to continue using their Stage/Bealls credit card and gift cards.

For more information on Gordmans visit www.gordmans.com

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