Stage Stores Sinks on Report It Is Readying for Bankruptcy

Stage, owner of Gordmans, Bealls and Goody's, has suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic.
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Yet another big-name retailer is apparently headed for the bankruptcy pile: Stage Stores  (SSI) - Get Report, the owner of Gordmans, Bealls and Goody’s chains, which are located predominately in smaller cities in the South and Midwest.

The company is readying itself for a bankruptcy filing as soon as next week, knowledgeable sources told CNBC. Stage Stores shares plunged in reaction.

Like many other retailers, Stage has been hurt in recent years by consumers’ shift to online shopping. And the coronavirus pandemic decimated brick and mortar stores, closing many of them and keeping would-be shoppers at home.

Renowned retailers J.Crew and Neiman Marcus already have filed for bankruptcy in the last week. And J.C. Penney  (JCP) - Get Report may well do so next week, sources told Reuters.

J.Crew and Neiman Marcus, of course, cater to an upscale crowd, while J.C. Penney and Stage Stores target a less wealthy clientele.

CNBC sources cautioned that a Stage Stores bankruptcy isn’t a done deal. But if it does happen, that’s obviously bad news for the company’s 13,600 workforce. Stage Stores has about 700 stores for its combined brands.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month, Stage Stores announced that it was in negotiations with landlords, vendors and other business partners to lower its lease and contract payments. It also said it was “exploring financing opportunities to enhance liquidity.”

Stage Stores shares recently traded at 39.21 cents, down 19.98%. The stock has sunk 70% over the last three months.

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