Bealls department stores to transition to Gordmans next year

HARLINGEN — Don’t be fooled by the big “Closing Event” sales posters on your local Bealls department store.

The retail chain is merely re-branding its stores from Bealls to Gordmans, according to officials at the stores’ parent company, Stage Stores Inc.

“Stage is excited to announce it will convert the Bealls located in Harlingen to a Gordmans’ off-price retailer in 2020,” said Cheryl Moralez, senior manager for brand publicity at Stage. “The majority of the Stage nameplates will convert to Gordmans beginning in early 2020. A few stores may continue to operate under their current nameplate.”

The re-branding to Gordmans means some new merchandise, thus the sales event at the stores.

There are about 15 Bealls locations in the Rio Grande Valley from Port Isabel to Roma, and all apparently will receive makeovers sometime in early 2020. Stage officials cautioned some lease deals at individual stores may delay some stores from re-branding to Gordmans.

“The Bealls store (on South 77 Sunshine Strip) is planned to close in the days leading up to the Gordmans grand opening in 2020,” Moralez said. “The conversion from Bealls to Gordmans takes less than two weeks.

“During the transition of our stores to Gordmans, our associates at these stores will be offered jobs at Gordmans,” she added. “If additional associates are needed they will be hired during job fairs, which will be announced at a later date.”

Employees at the Harlingen location on Sunshine Strip declined to speak on the record since they were not authorized. But they said the sales event would continue until the transition to Gordmans in order to prepare for re-stocking under their new brand name.

Gordmans stores operate on what is called an “off-price concept,” which means the company sells items at lower prices than those typically charged by competing retail businesses.

Off-price stores typically buy up overstocked goods or items at the low end of a seasonal demand cycle to enable them to undersell competitors and still turn a profit. Other stores employing this concept include TJ Maxx, Burlington and Ross.

The success with off-price retailing at its other stores is prompting the shift from Bealls to Gordmans, Stage officials said. Stage Stores operates in 42 states and has about 625 stores under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage brand names.