Gordmans store bankruptcy

Stage Stores Inc. is set to scoop up 57 store locations of struggling off-price department store chain Gordmans Stores Inc., more than half of the bankrupt retailer’s store presence.

Stage Stores’ bid on the assets through its subsidiary Specialty Stores Inc. during an asset auction that ended late Wednesday in a Nebraska bankruptcy court. Gordman’s has yet to disclose the bid price for the assets to the court, which also needs to approve the sale.

The bid was made as part of deal with Gordmans’ stalking horse bidder, a joint venture between Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC.

While Tiger and Great American will take over Gordman’s remaining 48 stores, which will likely be liquidated, Stage Stores will gain at least 50 locations with an option to gain the leases of another seven, along with Gordmans’ intellectual property.

Stage Stores intends to reopen a number of the locations, and its chief executive officer Michael Glazer said “the Gordmans business model offers great potential and, without the burden of a high level of debt, unprofitable locations and an oversized infrastructure” will be positive for the Stage Store business.

“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,” Glazer added. “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. We are pleased to enhance our store portfolio with the most desirable Gordmans locations, giving Stage a strong Midwestern presence in markets generally larger than those we serve today. We plan to maintain the Gordmans brand and look forward to welcoming a significant number of Gordmans employees to our company.”

The sale is expected to close during the first quarter, and Stage Stores said it would give further details on its plans for the stores after that.

A representative of Gordmans could not be reached for comment.

Stage Stores beat out a bid for the assets from Gordmans’ former owner and chief executive officer Jeff Gordman, the great-grandson of Sam Richman, who founded Gordmans predecessor company in 1915.

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