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Retail roundup: Ozark Payless to close; Springfield Gordmans spared

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Retail bankruptcies and closures continue to affect the Springfield-area market.

The latest moves involve Topeka, Kansas-based Payless ShoeSource Inc. and Obama, Nebraska-based department store chain Gordmans Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: GMAN). They join the likes of Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD), which closed its last Kmart in Springfield, The Limited, which shuttered inside Battlefield Mall, and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), which did not close its Springfield store but stopped business at 68 elsewhere.

Payless
Payless ShoeSource filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 4, reporting less than $1 billion in assets and $10 billion in liabilities.

With the news came plans to immediately close 378 stores.

The Ozark Payless at 1758 S. 20th St. within the Ozark Centre shopping center is on the list released by the company. Eleven other Missouri stores are on the list, but none are in southwest Missouri.

A call to the Ozark store went unanswered this morning.

The Payless website lists three stores in Springfield and one in Branson unaffected by the closures.

Gordmans
Last month, Gordmans listed debt of $131 million when it filed bankruptcy with plans to liquidate its inventory and assets.The company operates over 100 stores in 22 states and employs 5,100 people. Its Springfield store is located at 3303 S. Campbell Ave. near a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

On March 30, Stage Stores Inc. (NYSE: SSI) subsidiary Specialty Retailers Inc. entered a joint bid valued at $75.7 million with Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to buy the assets of Gordmans, according to bankruptcy court filings.

Under the terms of the deal, Specialty Retailers Inc. plans to keep open 57 Gordmans stores, including the Springfield location. Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group will liquidate the assets of the other 48 stores.

“We believe the Gordmans business model offers great potential and, without the burden of a high level of debt, unprofitable locations and an oversized infrastructure, we expect the Gordmans business will be accretive to our earnings,” Stage President and CEO Michael Glazer said in a news release.

Randi Sonenshein, senior vice president of strategy and finance for Stage, this week confirmed via email the Springfield store is on the list of locations Specialty Retailers plans to operate.

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