Gordmans: “Bigger National Brands at Smaller Prices.”

Last Updated on April 19, 2020

April 19, 2020

Gordmans is a chain of Midwestern off-price department stores founded in Omaha, Nebraska. There are 336 locations in the United States.

Way back in 1915, Sam Richman opened a small clothing store in Omaha, Nebraska. He called his store Outfitters to the Family. His store was located at 16th and Chicago in downtown Omaha.

In 1937, Richman’s daughter, Esther, married Dan Gordman, a former Bloomingdale’s salesman. Gordman joined Richman as a full partner in the business. The business eventually took over the entire building at 16th and Chicago.

In 1948, when a second store was opened in South Omaha, Nebraska, Gordman bought out the business and became sole proprietor. He then changed the name to Richman Gordman.

A Gordmans store in Nampa, Idaho

In the early 1970s, with Gordman’s sons and nephew, now positioned in the company, the business began to expand into other states, including Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

In 1974. Gordman incorporated central checkouts, shopping carts, and self-service shoes in the Omaha store and his was one of the first stores to be open on Sundays.

The 1/2 Price Store
In 1975, Gordman opened a small test store in Omaha named the 1/2 Price Store. The plan was to sell Richman Gordman merchandise at half price. Soon, six more 1/2 Price Stores were opened and a separate corporate structure was built.

In 1990, Richman Gordman celebrated its 75th anniversary. With 16 1/2 Price Stores and
16 Richman Gordman stores,
it had plenty to celebrate.

In 1992, Richman Gordman filed for bankruptcy protection, and all of its department stores closed.

The company emerged from bankruptcy in 1993, with a sole focus on the Richman Gordman 1/2 Price Stores.

Over the next three years, all of the 1/2 Price Stores were converted to the Gordmans brand. The store’s presentation was improved and the first two Gordman’s stores opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1999.

In 2008, Sun Capital Partners bought the company and it was taken public again in 2010, with Sun continuing to hold a majority stake.

On March 13, 2017, Gordmans had filed for bankruptcy in Nebraska with a liquidation deal struck with Tiger and Great American. Stage Stores bought 48 of the stores as well as 1 of the distribution centers.

Stage Stores had plans for the Gordmans Brand to resemble stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Burlington. In 2018, Stage Stores opened their first new Gordmans Store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

In 2018, Stage moved forward with a goal of converting 220 of their current Peebles department stores into Gordmans stores. Stage Stores also announced that by the end of the fiscal year 2020 they would put all of their efforts into the off-price model and exit the department store model, completely. 

The company expects to operate about 700 Gordmans stores by the end of 2020.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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