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Gordmans closing local store, others

Almost as soon as Gordmans in Winchester Plaza reopened, it announced it was closing again, maybe permanently.

The signs tell the story. Hanging across the front of the store is a large purple banner that says, “Yep, we’re open!” But behind it posters taped inside the windows announce the store is closing and that everything is priced to go.

It’s surprising and disappointing, said Randall and Karen Hayes, who were there Monday morning when the doors opened.

They visit the local store at least once a month, they said.

“There’s really not many places to shop,” she said.

“And we live in Campton, so it’s another 30 miles to Lexington. I don’t like that,” her husband said.

A manager said she hasn’t been told when the last day will be, but said she isn’t allowed to “make any statement.”

The public relations department did not answer or return the Sun’s phone calls or respond to an email request in time for this edition.

In a statement issued May 10, however, Michael Glazer, president and chief executive officer of Stage Stores, the parent of Gordmans, Goody’s, Bealls and Peebles, said the company had filed petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The “family of businesses” that had operated for more than 100 years had been significantly affected by the coronavirus epidemic and owners were “unable to obtain necessary financing to continue operating as an independent business,” Glazer said.

“If we receive a viable bid for the business, we will terminate our winddown of operations at certain locations,” he said, adding that the company’s leaders arrived at the decision “after exhausting all other options.”

The Winchester Plaza store, which had been a Peebles until the company announced last summer it was rebranding all its stores, opened as Gordmans on March 3 to great fanfare, with a celebration that included George Rogers Clark High School varsity cheerleaders, pep band, Mayor Ed Burtner and sales associates.

A week later, stores were closed because of the risks of COVID-19.

The stores began a phased reopening May 15, with the Winchester store reopening May 28.

According to an article published in Kentucky Today May 12, Houston-based Stage Stores, which operates 738 stores in 42 states, said it planned to reopen and liquidate 550 stores.

Gordmans had more than stores in Kentucky, including the one in Winchester and nearby stores in Paris, Mount Sterling and Lexington.

Stage Stores stock plunged 22 percent after the bankruptcy announcement, and its shares are down more than 95 percent this year.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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