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Peebles corporate office in South Hill targeted for shutdown, costing 180 jobs

South Boston News
The Peebles corporate office in South Hill
SoVaNow.com / February 11, 2013
Houston-based retail conglomerate Stage Stores announced late Monday it will shutter the Peebles Corporate Office in South Hill, costing the town some 180 jobs and closing the book on a homegrown retail success story.

Stage Stores plans to consolidate positions at the South Hill office — primarily in merchandising, planning and allocation, human resources and other services — at its Houston headquarters, which will gain 75 jobs as a result of the move.

The South Hill distribution center will not be affected. The closing of the corporate office also is not expected to impact store operations, including at the Peebles location at the Town Square Shopping Center in South Hill.

“This action is the culmination of an initiative that we began last year,” said Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stage Stores, in a media statement issued late Monday. “Given the impact on South Hill employees, the decision to consolidate was a difficult one.

“However, the significant benefits from having all department store functions and processes entirely together in one location could not be ignored. This strategic action will strengthen collaboration, teamwork and communications, while streamlining operations, enhancing overall operational efficiency and reducing costs. Combining all department store functions will also create consistency in merchandising, marketing and eCommerce, which should result in higher sales and earnings growth.”

Stage Stores pegged the shutdown for mid-year, although one employee who was present at the South Hill office late Monday when management broke the news said she was told the closing would take place by early May.

It becomes the third major business loss in South Hill since the start of the year. In January, both Home Care Industries and International Veneer Company announced plans to shutter plants in the area. The cumulative loss of jobs is around 400.

A number of local Peebles employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate to other Stage Store locations, including the Houston headquarters, the company said in its press release. Those not relocating will receive severance packages, outplacement counseling services and other benefits.

Stage Stores bought Peebles in 2003, when the retailer had 136 stores operating in 17 states, mostly in small- to mid-sized markets. Keeping the Peebles name, Stage maintained the retailer’s focus on selling brand-name and private-label clothing and home furnishings to middle income customers in rural and underserved markets.

It was a philosophy carried over from the firm’s founding in 1891, when it operated as the Peebles and Green clothing store in the town of Lawrenceville. Under the guiding hand of company founder William S. Peebles, the company reorganized as W.S. Peebles & Company in 1923. The retailer opened the South Hill store in 1927 and later branched out to Emporia, in 1929, and Clarksville, in 1935.

The company operated out of the Lawrenceville headquarters until 1985, when Peebles established the South Hill corporate office and distribution center. Stage kept on the South Hill office until now.

This story will be updated.


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More jobs lost due to out "Dear Leader"

Comments

The bad part is that the majority of people that voted for Obama Do not feel the effects of a business downsizing since they get their checks from the Government anyway. ANYONE who thinks Obamacare is a good thing needs to use Obamacare to get a full mental evaluation. Nothing is free, some just sit on their ass and take advantage of the Gov't assistance because they are lazy!!

Comments

This is really sad!! It makes me not want to support our local Peebles any more!! My heart and Prayers go out to the people who lost their jobs!!

Comments

I'm really not surprised on some if the things I hear about this company. The way that they under pay there managers and how I have seen the way the store manager in my neighbourhood treats her employers. It makes a person not want to shop there. Also the way they try to push magazines on people. I have seen the manager yell at an employee for not pushing hard enough for a magazine order. It explains some things.


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