Goody’s in Market Place along U.S. Highway 280 is closing but will reopen as Gordmans.

A new store will be coming to Market Place on U.S. Highway 280 in the spring.

Customers walking up to Goody’s will find store closing signs but don’t worry as Stage Stores will be converting to the off-price brand Gordmans it has acquired. It is a process the company has been implementing all over the country.

“We are planning to convert the Goody’s location in Alexander City to a Gordmans store in the spring of 2020,” said Blakeley Graham, a brand publicity manager with Stage. “Both Goody’s and Gordmans are part of the Stage community of stores.”

Graham said the move has been accepted elsewhere with praise and customers appreciate the regularly arriving inventory.

“Stage has been converting a number of its Goody’s stores because consumers are responding positively to Gordmans’ off-price offerings,” Graham said. “Gordmans is an off-price retailer, which means that it has a wide array of merchandise for the entire family at the lowest possible prices compared to department stores. Gordmans, which has 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.”

It’s a move Stage Stores president and CEO Michael Glazer presented to shareholders this past spring.

“We’re excited to accelerate our off-price conversion strategy,” Glazer said on the chain’s quarterly call with investors. “For the last few years, the off-price sector has seen tremendous growth despite the challenges that have faced traditional retailers. These results in off-price were the catalysts for us to invest in Gordmans when the opportunity presented itself in 2017 and we have since transformed these stores into a true off-price concept that represents significant growth potential.”

Stage Stores acquired Gordmans after it filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and turned it into the off-price model similar to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Stage plans to convert 150 more department stores to off-price by the middle of 2020, giving it a total of about 300.

“Given the strong conversion results in 2018, we expect these efforts to benefit our comparable sales performance in 2019 by at least 200 basis points,” Glazer said. “By the end of 2020, off-price sales will represent approximately 50% of our total sales volume.”

The cost of conversion is about $125,000 per store. The company can fund all its 2019 conversion activities within its historical $30 million to $35 million capital spend Glazer said.

During the conversion Graham said current Goody’s employees will be given opportunities with Gordmans.

“The Goody’s store is planned to close in the days leading up to the Gordmans grand opening in the spring of 2020,” Graham said. “The conversion from Goody’s to Gordmans takes less than two weeks. All current Goody’s associates will be offered jobs at Gordmans. Additional associates also will be hired during a job fair early next year.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.