by Terry Rogers
Blakeley Graham, Manager of Brand Publicity at Stage, the parent company of both Peebles and Gordmans, confirmed recently that the Milford Peebles store will become Gordmans in the spring of 2020. According to Graham, Stage has been converting a number of Peebles stores to Gordmans over the past few years.
“Consumers are responding positively to Gordmans’ off-price offerings,” Graham said. “Gordmans offers a wide array of merchandise for the entire family at the lowest possible prices compared to department stores. Gordmans, which ahs been delighting shoppers for more than 100 years, has fresh new merchandise deliveries arriving weekly. There will always be something new to discover when it comes to popular name brand apparel, home décor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the whole family.”
The Milford Peebles has a long history with the town. Many recall when the store was known as Leggett Department Stores, who built the current building to move from downtown in the late 1970s. The former Leggett Building downtown is now the home of the Milford Senior Center and several other small businesses.
Gordmans began in 1915 when Sam Richman opened a small clothing store in Omaha known as Outfitters to the Family. The first store was located in a small storefront at 16th and Chicago. Dan Gordman joined the company in a few years later, eventually marrying Richman’s daughter, Esther. In 1948, a second store opened in South Omaha, Nebraska, and Gordman purchased Richman’s interest in the company, changing the name to Richman Gordman.
Gordman’s sons and nephew joined the business in the 1960s and, in the early 1970s, the company expanded into Nebraska. Stores were soon opened in Iowa and Kansas as well. Gordman’s was the one of the first retail stores to use central checkouts, shopping carts and self-service shoes in Omaha. It was also one of the first to be open on Sunday.
In 1975, Gordman’s opened a small test store in South Omaha called the “1/2 Price Store.” The concept was to sell their merchandise at half-price. The concept was a success and, in the 1970s, a separate corporate structure was created to accommodate the growing business. In 1992, Richman Gordman filed for bankruptcy and all of their department stores closed while the 1/2 Price Stores remained operational. By 1996, the 1/2 Price Stores were converted to the Goodman brand. In 2017, the company once again file for bankruptcy and Stage purchased 48 of the stores that same year. Stage created a new business model for Goodman, creating an off-price version that more resembles T.J. Maxx, Ross or Burlington.
“The Peebles store is planned to close in the days leading up to the Gordmans grand opening in the spring of 2020,” Graham said. “The conversions from Peebles to Gordmans take less than two weeks. All current Peebles associates will be offered jobs at Gordmans. Additional associates will be hired during job fairs early next year.”
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