NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gordmans department store opened in February, closed a month later because of the pandemic and now may open only to liquidate.
The discount retailer's parent company, Stage Stores, filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 10 with the intent to "wind down" its more than 600 outlets if necessary in part because of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus.
"This is a very difficult announcement and it was a decision that we reached only after exhausting every possible alternative," said Michael Glazer, Stage's president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Over the last several months, we had been taking significant steps to attempt to strengthen our financial position and find an independent path forward.
"However, the increasingly challenging market environment was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which required us to temporarily close all of our stores and furlough the vast majority of our associates. Given these conditions, we have been unable to obtain necessary financing and have no choice but to take these actions."
In the statement, the company said it will begin liquidation but will also try to sell the business or any of its assets. If a viable buyer comes forward, closure efforts will be suspended but if not, the liquidation will continue.
Stage Stores has occupied the space in the former Kmart Plaza off Main Street since 2006 with the opening of a Peebles department store. Last year, the retailer began the switch to the Gordmans line, which was touted as something of a small-size T.J. Maxx.
Outside of Walmart, the only other clothing store in the city is discount retailer Label Shopper in the same plaza.
Gordmans opened on Feb. 18 with a wide range of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home decor and goods. A few weeks later, its windows were vandalized and a local man was arrested on charges of causing thousands of dollars of damage in the downtown.
The store hadn't even fixed its windows before it had shut its doors here on the governor's orders for non-essential concerns to halt operations in mid-March.
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 company announced a listing of 557 stores that will reopen on Friday; a second phase of 67 will open May 28 and the rest on June 4.
Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to release more detailed plans on Monday of what businesses will be allowed to reopen and how that will happen. The North Adams store will likely not open until the May 28 or June 4 dates.
Updated openings will be posted on the Gordmans website. The company said it will use "recommendations and industry best practices" to ensure the safety of employees and patrons.
Gift cards and customer programs will be honored for 30 days after a store opens and no new cards will be issued.
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Know Your Risk Tolerance at Different Stages of Life
Submitted by Edward Jones
As an investor, you will always need to deal with risk of some kind. But how can you manage the risk that has been made clear by the recent volatility in the financial markets? The answer to this question may depend on where you are in life.
Let's look at some different life stages and how you might deal with risk at each of them:
• When you are first starting out: If you are early in your career, with perhaps four or even five decades to go until you retire, you can likely afford to invest primarily for growth, which also means you will be taking on a higher level of risk, as risk and reward are positively correlated. But, given your age, you have time to overcome the market downturns that are both inevitable and a normal part of investing. Consequently, your risk tolerance may be relatively high. Still, even at this stage, being over-aggressive can be costly.
• When you are in the middle stages: At this time of your life, you are well along in your career, and you are probably working on at least a couple of financial goals, such as saving for retirement and possibly for your children's college education. So, you still need to be investing for growth, which means you likely will need to maintain a relatively high risk tolerance. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to have some balance in your portfolio, so you will want to consider a mix of investments that align with each of your goals.
• When you are a few years from retirement: Now, you might have already achieved some key goals – perhaps your kids have finished college and you have paid off your mortgage. This may mean you have more money available to put away for retirement, but you still will have to think carefully about how much risk you are willing to take. Since you’re going to retire soon, you might consider rebalancing your portfolio to include some more conservative investments, whose value is less susceptible to financial market fluctuations. The reason? In just a few years, when you are retired, you will need to start taking withdrawals from your investment portfolio – essentially, you will be selling investments, so, as much as possible, you will want to avoid selling them when their price is down. Nonetheless, having a balanced and diversified portfolio doesn't fully protect against a loss. However, you can further reduce the future risk of being overly dependent on selling variable investments by devoting a certain percentage of your portfolio to cash and cash equivalents and designating this portion to be used for your daily expenses during the years immediately preceding, and possibly spilling into, your retirement.
• When you are retired: Once you are retired, you might think you should take no risks at all. But you could spend two or three decades in retirement, so you may need some growth potential in your portfolio to stay ahead of inflation. Establishing a withdrawal rate – the amount you take out each year from your investments – that's appropriate for your lifestyle and projected longevity can reduce the risk of outliving your money. Of course, if there's an extended market downturn during any time of your retirement, you may want to lower your withdrawal rate temporarily.
As you can see, your tolerance for risk, and your methods of dealing with it, can change over time. By being aware of this progression, you can make better-informed investment decisions.
Wayne Gelinas and Lea King have been forced to shutter their Mohawk Trail eatery, at least for the time being. But they have found a way to continue business online while providing free meals to those in need.
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