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Gordmans

Gordmans' new owner Stage Stores said it plans to focus more on home goods sales as it transitions the chain to more of an off-price concept.

Gordmans' new owner said Thursday that it plans to turn the chain into more of an off-price retailer like TJ Maxx.

"The previous Gordmans business model was a hybrid between off-price (and) a department store," Stage Stores CEO Michael Glazer said in a conference call with financial analysts. "Our intention is clearly to manage these stores as an off-price concept."

Glazer said the change is an important strategy, because the off-price segment is "obviously one of the areas of retail that has been winning in this difficult environment."

Stage Stores, which is based in Houston, bought Gordmans out of bankruptcy in March. It is keeping open 57 of the Gordmans stores, including the one at the Lincoln Crossing shopping center near 27th and Superior streets.

Thorsten Weber, Stage's chief merchandising officer, said during the call that the move to more of an off-price model will lead to changes in Gordmans' merchandise mix and purchasing strategy.

Weber said Gordmans will focus more on its most profitable merchandise categories, which are home goods, footwear and cosmetics, and less on clothing.

The purchasing strategy will focus more on "in-season opportunistic buys," he said.

Currently, Gordmans does about 80 percent scheduled buying and 20 percent in-season "opportunistic buying, and the goal over the next year is to change that to about a 50-50 mix, Weber said.

"In stores, we will adjust our standards to emphasize newness and scarcity, creating urgency to buy now," he said.

Weber said Gordmans also will eliminate coupons and promotions and go to an everyday low price strategy used by stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Burlington Coat Factory.

The company said it expects the transition to the new strategy to be complete by the end of the year.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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