The last two Gordmans stores in the Twin Cities will close unless its parent company, which declared bankruptcy over the weekend, finds a buyer.
Gordmans, an off-price retailer that once had several stores in the region, has locations at Burnsville Center and in Woodbury.
Its parent company, Houston-based Stage Stores, filed for bankruptcy over the weekend, the latest major retail casualty of the pandemic. It operates more than 700 stores under a number of banners including Goody’s, Bealls and Palais Royal.
J. Crew and Neiman Marcus also declared bankruptcy last week but are hoping to restructure and to keep some stores open. Analysts expect more bankruptcies and permanent store closures in the coming months with the pandemic forcing weaker retailers to collapse.
Stage Stores said it would wind down its operations and begin store-closing sales in phases, while at the same time seeking bids for a going-concern sale for its entire business or some of its assets. If it does receive any viable bids, it said it will stop the wind-down of certain locations.
The company, which had limited cash reserves, was unable to obtain financing to stay afloat while stores were shut down during the pandemic. It had been working to convert many of its department stores to the Gordmans format.
“Over the last several months, we had been taking significant steps to attempt to strengthen our financial position and find an independent path forward,” Michael Glazer, CEO of Stage Stores, said in a statement. “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.”
The company said it plans to honor gift cards and returns for the first 30 days after a store reopens for liquidation sales.
A spokeswoman for CBL & Associates, which owns Burnsville Center, said she didn’t have any information on when the Gordmans store there will reopen and start a going-out-of-business sale.
Most nonessential retailers in Minnesota remain closed aside from curbside pickup under Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order that currently goes through Monday.
In 2017, Gordmans, then based in Nebraska, declared bankruptcy and closed about half of its stores including locations in Roseville, Edina, Coon Rapids and Mankato. Its store at Burnsville Center also briefly closed that year but was reopened after Stage bought it and some other Gordmans stores out of bankruptcy.