Lincoln Crossing

The Lincoln Gordmans store at Lincoln Crossing, a retail development near 27th and Superior streets, is likely to remain open

Lincoln's Gordmans store will remain open, according to documents filed over the weekend in U.S Bankrupcty Court in Omaha.

The Lincoln store at 5050 N. 27th St. is one of 57 stores listed in the documents as locations that Stage Stores Inc. wants to continue operating. The Houston-based department store chain won an auction last week, bidding $76 million to buy the company out of bankruptcy.

In a strange twist, Stage Stores plans to close all of Omaha-based Gordmans' metro area stores, with the exception of one in Council Bluffs, while keeping open all other stores in Nebraska. In addition to Lincoln, that includes locations in Fremont and Grand Island.

What stores close or stay open ultimately will be up to the judge overseeing the case, so the list provided in court documents could change slightly.

It's likely that Stage Stores will simply assume the leases of Gordmans stores it plans to keep open. According to documents filed last month, Gordmans owes more than $50,000 in rent to the owners of Lincoln Crossing shopping center.

Gordmans filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 13, and initially it looked like all of its stores would close, as the company partnered with two firms that specialize in liquidation sales in what is known as a stalking horse bid.

Stage Stores and former Gordmans CEO Jeff Gordman both later expressed interest in bidding for the company with plans to keep stores open, but only Stage made an official bid to the court.

Stage Stores has said it plans to keep the Gordmans name and will hire a significant portion of the company's retail staff.

Stage has stores in 38 states, but the vast majority of them are in the South and on the East Coast. Most of the Gordmans it plans to keep open are in states where it either has no stores or very few.

For example, Stage plans to keep open all six Gordmans in North and South Dakota, where it currently has no presence, while it plans to close all five Gordmans locations in Oklahoma and all four in Ohio, two states where it already has a combined 67 stores.

Liquidation of the stores that are closing likely will start soon, although no dates have yet been announced.

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

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


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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