Goody’s Reopens in Former Peebles Store
Believing that there is still “tremendous” brand equity in the Goody’s name in Moore County, the parent company of Peebles department store in Aberdeen has decided to switch flags.
Stage Stores Inc., which acquired the “Goody’s” name through the Goody’s bankruptcy auction in July 2009, closed the 30,000-square-foot Peebles in Center Park Shopping Center on Saturday and will host a grand opening today as Goody’s.
Erica Andrews, who managed the Peebles and will retain her title, said Monday that she expects a smooth transition.
“The biggest change for me is the name,” Andrews said with a laugh after answering the phone, “Thank you for calling Peebles ... I mean Goody’s,” on Monday.
Andrews said customers will only notice subtle changes.
“We’re beefing up our junior’s and young men’s departments,” she said. “We’re not getting a lot of new brands, but we are going to have a broader selection of merchandise for our existing brands.”
A ribbon-cutting was scheduled for 8:45 a.m. today, with the store opening 15 minutes later.
“We’ve got a free giveaway for the first 150 customers, and we’re also giving away two $250 gift cards,” she said. “It’s time for a change. Goody’s did really well in this market and that name is more well-known here. We’re excited.”
Goody’s operated in more than 32,000 square feet of space at Pinecrest Plaza Shopping Center until January 2009, when the Tennessee-based former owner of the retail chain failed to emerge from bankruptcy and closed almost 300 stores, most of which were in the Southeast.
“Goody’s has been around for a long time and has broader brand recognition nationwide than Peebles, so I guess I’m not surprised that they’re rebranding,” Patrick Coughlin, president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, said Monday.
Stage Stores “continues to find that there is tremendous brand equity in the Goody’s name in markets and regions of the country in which they operated prior to the company’s acquisition of the name,” according to Stage Stores’ annual report for the 2010 fiscal year.
Stage Stores started 2010 with 15 Goody’s stores and ended it with 71, of which 24 were rebrandings from the Peebles name. The company expects to rebrand about 120 existing non-Goody’s stores to the Goody’s name during the 2011 fiscal year.
Andrews said she has spent the past two weeks hiring six new part-time employees, which bumps the number of part- and full-time employees at the store to 18.
“Who’s to say those part-time jobs won’t turn into full-time opportunities?” Coughlin noted. “Either way you look at it, they’re putting people back to work. That’s a good thing.”
Stage Stores, which is headquartered in Houston, offers moderately priced, nationally recognized brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear through more than 780 stores in 39 states. In addition to Peebles and Goody’s, the company operates its stores under the brand names Bealls, Palais Royal and Stage.
In the highly competitive retail industry, Stage Stores’ principal focus is on consumers in small to mid-size markets.
About 65 percent of its stores are in communities of less than 50,000 residents. Nineteen percent are in communities between 50,000 and 150,000 people, and the remaining 16 percent are in metropolitan areas.
The company’s primary target customers are women who are generally 25 and older with annual household incomes of more than $45,000, who the company believes are the primary decision makers for their family’s clothing purchases.
Stage Stores, which has net income of $37.6 million on sales of $1.47 billion in 2010, expects sales to exceed $1.5 billion this year despite soft consumer confidence and an economy that is slowly emerging from a recession.
Total sales for the five-week March period ended April 2 decreased 4 percent to $134 million, compared with $140 million in the same five-week period last year. Comparable store sales decreased 5.3 percent.
Andy Hall, president and CEO of Stage Stores, said the company anticipated the drops because of the Easter calendar shift.
“Conversely, we expect comparable store sales for April to benefit from the calendar shift and be up double digits,” Hall said in a statement. “It will be necessary to look at comparable store sales in March and April combined to get a true sense of our trend of business over this nine-week period.”
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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