The two Stage stores in Lafayette will close in January 2020 as part of the brand's review of underperforming location, a company spokesperson said Friday morning.
Earlier this week the stores located at 4407 Ambassador Caffery Parkway and 537 Bertrand Drive announced they would close. Spokeswoman Blakeley Graham said the stores start their going out of business sales earlier to help associates transition and give customers access to more discounted merchandise.
"As is common practice in the retail industry, Stage Stores reviews its store fleet on a regular basis and exits underperforming locations," she said. "All associates will be offered positions at other Stage stores, or they will have the option to take a severance package when the store closes."
This move comes after Stage posted a $7.8 million net loss in the fourth quarter with net sales at $520 million compared to $549 million posted a year ago. Stage Stores president and chief operating officer Michael Glazer said March 4 the brand would close 40 to 60 underperforming stores and convert 30 to 40 stores into Gordmans stores, an off-price store chain Stage purchased in 2017.
It is unknown if either of the closed stores in Lafayette will be converted. Store officials did not identify the number of employees at both stores or if any other stores in Acadiana would close.
Stage also has stores in Eunice, Opelousas, Crowley, Abbeville and New Iberia.
“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,” stated Glazer. “By the end of 2020, off-price sales will represent approximately 50% of our total sales volume.”
As of March 7, Stage Stores operated over 700 Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage specialty department stores. They also operated 87 Gordman stores, 39 of which were already converted from Stage stores in 2018. The cost of converting a store is around $125,000 per store, according to Glazer.
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