Stage Stores Reportedly Closing 60 Doors, Laying Off Staff as Chapter 11 Rumors Heat Up

Amid ongoing struggles, Stage Stores, Inc. has reportedly laid off corporate staff and slated dozens of doors for closure.

According to a Retail Dive report, the Houston-based company has plans to shutter more than 60 stores under the Gordmans nameplate, as well as 10 stores that were to become Gordmans. The firm had already slated 40 outposts for closure last fall. Additionally, Stage Stores cut more than 20 of its corporate staffers this week, the report says.

Stage Stores operates about 700 stores under several banners, including Gordmans, which it acquired out of bankruptcy in 2017; Bealls; Goody’s and the Stage name. The firm has had plans to transition its entire fleet to the Gordmans nameplate as it reinvents itself through the off-price model.

“We remain confident that our off-price strategy will lead to profitable growth in the future,” said President and CEO Michael Glazer in a press release last month. In recent years, the off-price channel has largely outperformed retail as a whole, with chains such as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx as well as Ross Dress for Less consistently bucking sluggish industry trends.

On Jan. 13, Stage released preliminary holiday results, for the nine-week period ended Jan. 4, showing a year over year comparable sales increase of 1.4%. The company will report its financial results for the 2019 fiscal year on March 5 and expects earnings to be $25 million to $30 million below the low end of its previously announced guidance range. (In November, it predicted fiscal year 2019 net losses between $65 million and $60 million, or adjusted net losses of $40 million to $35 million.)

At market open today, Stage Stores shares were valued at just 56 cents; the company has a market cap of a little over $17 million.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Stage Stores had hired outside consultants to aid in financial restructuring, adding that the firm is likely to file for Chapter 11. The publication said that the situation remains fluid, and that the company could avoid bankruptcy by completing an out-of-court debt restructuring process.

FN has reached out to Stage Stores for comment.

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