The retail landscape in Pine Bluff will look different in 2020 with the closing of stores and transitioning of others. As previously reported, Tuesday Morning will shut down in January and by the spring; Goody’s will be turned into Gordmans—- an off-price department store based out of Nebraska.
Goody’s is part of the family of Stage Stores including other stores such as Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage. Stage Stores, Inc. operates more than 700 stores in at least 40 states. According to its website, the company acquired Gordmans in 2017. In an email to The Pine Bluff Commercial, a representative with Stages Stores, Inc. said:
“Stage is excited to confirm it will convert the Goody’s located in Pine Bluff, AR. to a Gordmans’ store. Guests are responding positively to our Gordmans’ off-price concept and most of the Stage department stores will convert to Gordmans during 2020. Gordmans stores receive fresh new merchandise deliveries weekly and a wide array of popular brand name merchandise for the entire family at everyday low prices. So, there will always be something new to discover at Gordmans when it comes to popular name brand apparel, home décor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the entire family. Guests can use their Stage-brand private label credit card, Style Circle Rewards and Stage-brand gift cards at Gordmans. For more information on Gordmans, visit www.gordmans.com.”
Transitioning of popular department stores isn’t new to the city of Pine Bluff. In spring 2019, Dillard’s announced that the Pine Bluff location would become Arkansas’ only Clearance Center. While the news took some by surprise, others were happy the Arkansas-based company wasn’t closing. Dillard’s Clearance Center offers merchandise at a discounted price compared to what one would normally see at Dillard’s. The products they receive come from their other stores across the state with overstocked items. With the Pine Bluff location turning into a Clearance Center, the makeup and fragrance counters along with other products typically sold at Dillard’s went away.
“It was super organized when I shopped a couple of months ago safely at 8:00 p.m.,” said Shari Robbins on The Commercial’s Facebook post of the announcement. “I purchased 10 pairs of higher end shoes and saved hundreds. I will be going back when I get back into town.”
J.C. Penney, which operates 13 other stores in Arkansas closed their Pine Bluff location July 2019. It was one of 18 stores to close this year across the United States.
“This decision is the result of an ongoing review of our store portfolio, which includes assessing locations that may not meet our required financial targets or represent an opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset,” J.C. Penney spokesman Dana Harrington said in a statement to The Commercial. “It’s never easy taking actions that directly impact our valued associates and customers, however we feel this is a necessary business decision.”
Fred’s, a discount retail and pharmacy chain, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 thus the decision to close its stores thereby impacting the Pine Bluff location. Fred’s, which began in 1947, hoped to avoid closure by seeking up to $35 million for a financing agreement with certain lenders. But, it was unsuccessful.
Tuesday Morning is set to close on Jan. 15 after serving the community for more than 15 years according to Tuesday Morning’s Arkansas district manager, Shannon Brannum. As of now, Brannum says the Pine Bluff location remains the only store in the state scheduled to close this year.
“We’re constantly analyzing our real estate portfolio,” said Brannum. “So, in the future, there could be new stores opening that are close to the area. It doesn’t mean we’re gone forever and there’s a possibility we could come back somewhere nearby. But, in the meantime, we have all [those] great stores in Little Rock.”