NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Peebles Department Store in the downtown is going to be turned into a Gordmans, a discount retailer, early next year.
The 13-year-old store has been having a major summer sale over the past two months but the words "closing" appeared in the windows on Monday. The store will close in the days leading up to the grand opening of the new Goodmans early next year.
Blakeley Graham, brand publicity manager for Peebles' parent company Stage Stores, confirmed that the location would remain in the Stage family.
"Both Peebles and Gordmans are part of the Stage community of stores. Gordmans is an off-price retailer, which means that it has a wide array of merchandise for the entire family at the lowest possible prices compared to department stores," Graham said by email from the company's headquarters in Houston.
Current employees will be offered jobs at Gordmans, Graham said, and a job fair for new employees will be held early next year. Peebles credit cards and gift cards can be used at any of the Stage Stores and the Style Circle Rewards program will continue.
The store is currently having an "everything must go" sale with markdowns of up to 40 percent off listed prices.
Both Gordmans and Stage Stores have roots going back a century; Gordmans (named for one of the founders) first opened a "1/2 Price" store in 1975 and the discount division survived several restructurings and bankruptcies until the name and 48 stores were purchased by Stage in 2017.
Stage reportedly is repositioning Gordmans to be more along the lines of a T.J. Maxx or Burlington model and opened the first newly branded Gordmans in Texas in March 2018. Stage Stores is transforming 89 of its locations into Gordmans this year alone and another 100 is planned next year. By 2020, the number is expected to exceed 400 and make up more than half the company's sales.
"The continuation of strong performance in prior period conversions, in addition to the outstanding initial results in our June conversions, provided the impetus for us to expand our 2020 pivot to off-price," said Michael Glazer, president and chief executive officer of Stage Stores, in a press release posted on BusinessWire.
Stage Stores operates more than 600 Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and specialty stores in 42 states, along with the more than 150 Gordmans that have already been converted or opened.
The downtown Peebles opened to much fanfare in 2006 as part of the rejuvenation of the former Kmart plaza under owner Hartford Realty that included Staples, Olympia Sports, and the North Adams Cinemas in the former department store. Since then, Staples closed and was replaced by the V&V liquor store and Olympia recently closed. The building also has a Planet Fitness that is being upgraded.
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