Across the front of the Goody’s clothing store in Batesburg-Leesville, two banners – one that reads STORE CLOSING SALE, the other saying AMAZON HUB – proclaim that the local business landscape is about to change in a big way.
Stage Stores Inc. has confirmed that the current Goody’s location at 212 W. Columbia Ave. will be rebranded this spring as part of the Houston-based company’s nationwide efforts to consolidate its stores under one brand: Gordmans.
“Stage is excited to confirm it will convert the Goody’s located in Batesburg, S.C., to a Gordmans’ store. Guests are responding positively to our Gordmans’ off-price concept, and most of the Stage department stores will convert to Gordmans during 2020,” said a company spokesman, who asked not to be identified, in an e-mail.
Stage Stores Inc., announced last year its plans to convert more than 600 of its current stores – Goody’s, Peebles, Bealls and Palais Royal locations – in 42 states to the Gordmans brand. The company already operates 158 off-price Gordmans stores.
At present, the closest Gordmans store is in Pikeville, Ky.
“Gordmans stores receive fresh new merchandise deliveries weekly and a wide array of popular brand name merchandise for the entire family at everyday low prices,” the Stage Stores spokeman stated in her e-mail. “So, there will always be something new to discover at Gordmans when it comes to popular name brand apparel, home décor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the entire family.”
According to 2018 statistics, there are more than 6,300 “off-price” retail stores in the United States, representing around $50 billion in sales. Among the most recognizable “off-price” brands in America are TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Ross and Home Goods.
The current store in Batesburg-Leesville still has the larger, main Goody’s lighted sign over the doorway, but smaller signage throughout the store already bears the Gordmans brand. In each department, bright yellow paper signs now tout clearance prices on remaining clothing, housewares, home décor and other merchandise.
The Batesburg-Leesville store is expected to close its doors temporarily near the end of March for a complete remodeling of the retail space, then re-open as Gordmans in early April, the company spokesman confirmed. Clearance sales are likely to continue until the storefront is closed for rebranding.
Stage Stores Inc. can trace its roots back to the 1920s, when Bealls and Palais Royal were founded separately as family-owned businesses, according to the company history on its website. In 1988, the two brands merged to form Speciality Retailers Inc. in Houston, and further store acquisitions continued through the 1990s. An across-the-board company reorganization followed in 2001.
One of those major acquisitions was in 2006, when Stage Stores Inc. purchased North Carolina-based B.C. Moore’s 78 remaining locations in four states. Of those, 69 were reopened as Peebles stores, while nine stores were closed.
The current Goody’s was a B.C. Moore location until the 2006 merger, and the B.C. Moore company previously had operated from a smaller storefront in the downtown Batesburg district.
With the ongoing conversion of Goody’s stores to the Gordmans “off-price” business model and brand, Stage Stores Inc. also announced last October that it had inked an agreement with Amazon.com. to become an Amazon Hub.
“We began piloting the Amazon Hub Counter service a few months ago and are thrilled with the early results,” said Michael Glazer, Chief Executive Officer, in a company release. “This delivery option is a great way to welcome new guests to the Stage family of stores. Our friendly store associates provide a personal touch during the package pickup process, and we are already seeing these new guests return to our stores.”
One of the company’s longtime traditional brick-and-mortar customers, Earline Ricard, stopped by the Batesburg-Leesville store Sunday afternoon to look around and transact some business. She doesn’t expect the rebranding will have much effect on her as a faithful Goody’s shopper.
“It’s just another store to go in, look around and buy. So I hadn’t given it much thought really,” she said of store closing/rebranding. “I’ll just have to wait until they open to see what kind of store they are.”
Story by Tony Baughman / Published January 9, 2020