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Retail mainstay closes for 2020 makeover

South Boston News / August 14, 2019
On Monday, shoppers in South Hill were stunned to find signs posted on the door of Peebles announcing the longtime department store was closing.

However, minds were put at ease when Stage Stores, the Peebles store chain’s parent company, announced that the store closing will happen in early 2020, when the Peebles location at the Town Square Shopping Center will be converted over to a Gordmans — another store brand in the Stage Stores retail pantheon.

A spokesperson for Houston-based Stage Stores said the South Hill Peebles will close for about two weeks in the spring as construction and rebranding takes place. “Stage has exciting news — we are converting the Peebles location in South Hill, Virginia to a Gordmans store in early 2020," the company announced in a press release.

Gordmans is an off-price retailer, offering a wide array of merchandise for the entire family at the lowest possible prices compared to department store prices, according to Stage Stores.

Hearing of the change, South Hill Town Manager Kim Callis said, “We will miss the Peebles store, but are certainly glad that Stage will continue to have a significant presence in our community and provides our citizens with retail options.”

Stage Stores’ retail family includes Gordmans, Peebles and the Goody’s, Stage, Bealls, and Palais Royal brands. Peebles is known for specializing in brand-name and private-label family clothing and home furnishings, priced for the average shopper.

Peebles has been a retail anchor in South Hill and southern Virginia since the company was founded in Lawrenceville in 1891 by William Peebles and Arthur Green. The South Hill store, which opened in 1923, was the second to open for Peebles Stores — once described as one of the oldest and most successful department store chains in the United States.

For nearly 30 years, from 1985 until 2013, Peebles also maintained its corporate headquarters in South Hill. At its peak, Peebles employed over 2,200 workers, had $176 million in gross sales and operated 136 stores in 17 states, mostly in small- to mid-sized markets. Stage Stores bought Peebles in 2003.

Blakeley Graham, brand publicity manager, confirmed that “Stage is planning to convert the Peebles location in South Hill, to a Gordmans store in the spring of 2020. The conversion from Peebles to Gordmans takes less than two weeks.”

A similar conversion was done to 25 Peebles stores in Ohio earlier this year. Sydney Edens, a media liaison for Gordmans, said as in Ohio, the new South Hill store will offer lower prices compared to Peebles.

Graham said as part of the conversion and rebranding, renovations will be made to the existing store front and interior, but the size of the store will remain the same. He described the merchandise as “popular name brand apparel, home décor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the whole family.” Graham suggested that anyone interested in learning more about Gordmans should visit the store’s website at

When work is completed, Graham said the company plans to hold a grand reopening celebration event. Details about the event will come later.

Gordmans was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1915 by Sam Richman. It made its name as an off-price department store starting in the mid-1970s. In 2017, after filing for bankruptcy, Stage Stores purchased 48 Gordmans, mainly in the Midwest and a distribution center and strengthened the retailer’s footprint in the off-price retail sector to compete with stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Burlington.

Citing high sales increases in locations where Gordmans stores were located, in 2018 Stage Stores CEO Michael Glazer announced plans to convert over 200 of the existing 650 Stage Store locations into Gordmans by the end of 2020.

(This story has been corrected from the original to reflect that the closing of Peebles will take place in 2020, not at the present time, and that the changeover will be completed in about two weeks.)

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Truly the end of an era. The Peebles way was quickly erased when Stage Stores took control, and removal of the iconic Peebles name was inevitable.


The store is having a closing sale, so it's still open.


The Best thing about working with a Retail Distribution Companies that you only need to make the product and they will do the rest.

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