Bealls at Richland Mall

The Bealls at Richland Mall will transition into a Gordmans.

Bealls in Richland Mall is becoming a Gordmans deep-discount store.

Bealls has anchored the mall at State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 84 since it opened in 1980 but now is holding a large sale to clear inventory before turning the 42,000-square-foot space over to a corporate relative.

Both retail concepts fall under the Houston-based Stage Stores umbrella.

“Stage has exciting news. We are planning to convert the Bealls location in Waco, Texas, to a Gordmans store in the spring of 2020. Both Bealls and Gordmans are part of the Stage community of stores,” Stage spokesperson Blakeley Graham wrote in a press release.

Stage has been on a buying binge in recent years that pushed its store total to about 800, snapping up brands including Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles, Gordmans and Goody’s. Earlier in its corporate life it swallowed up Fashion Bar Inc., C.R. Anthony Co., Tri-North, Milliken’s and Beall-Ladymon.

It won the bidding for Gordmans’ assets in 2017 and announced then it would place the Gordmans names on scattered Bealls outlets.

“Consumers are responding positively to Gordmans’ off-price offerings,” Graham wrote in the press release. She said Gordmans has a 100-year history, “but has fresh new merchandise deliveries arriving weekly.”

“There will always be something new to discover when it comes to popular name brand apparel, home decor, footwear, gifts, accessories, fragrances and more for the whole family,” she wrote.

She said the Bealls store will change its name in the days leading up to the Gordmans grand opening in the spring of next year.

“The conversion from Bealls to Gordmans takes less than two weeks,” Graham said. “All current Bealls associates will be offered jobs at Gordmans. Additional associates also will be hired during a job fair early next year.”

There are no plans at this time to convert the Bealls on Loop 340 in Bellmead to a Gordmans location, Graham said. Other Bealls locations will become Gordmans in Brownsville, Bryan, Carthage, Center, College Station, Ennis, Georgetown, Gonzales, Laredo, Odessa, Round Rock and Sweetwater, she said.

Bealls’ name change comes amid other changes at Richland Mall.

The Dillard’s department store chain has started interior demolition at the 157,000-square-foot former Sears space, with an eye toward relocating there from one of two locations it now occupies on the mall.

Sears, which has downsized and filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of declining sales and red ink, shuttered its Richland Mall store in March. Like Bealls, it was among the original tenants at the retail center.

Dillard’s, another original, hopes to occupy the former Sears space in summer 2020. Bobby Horner, who oversees Waco’s inspection services department, said Dillard’s has secured a demolition permit but has submitted no plans.

Dillard’s, which offers upscale merchandise, will continue to occupy a separate location in the mall selling menswear and accessories.

Odessa-based ICA Properties owns the 104,000-square-foot space Dillard’s leases to sell women’s fashions, fragrances and housewares. Dillard’s will leave this space to move into the 157,000-square-foot Sears spot.

“We would consider leasing or selling, but our first preference is to lease,” ICA Properties sales manager Callie Norris previously told the Tribune Herald. “Dillard’s obviously is very happy with the mall there, otherwise they wouldn’t be taking the larger Sears space.”

ICA owns other Dillard’s properties in Midland Park Mall in Midland and in Music City Mall in Odessa.

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