Gordmans holds grand opening ceremony

Customer Donna Simonds of Gloversville checks out some goods at the new Gordmans store's grand opening Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The new Gordmans store at the Johnstown Mall took center stage among the city’s businesses Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, grand opening, giveaways and check presentation to Johnstown High School.

Gordmans is part of the Stage “community” of stores, and has been converted from Peebles as the new anchor store of the North Comrie Avenue mall.

“People are going to love the prices,” stated new Gordmans Manager Scott Kupper. “We offer home brands at really low prices.”

Kupper cut a ribbon Tuesday morning provided by the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, and minutes later about 45 to 50 waiting customers and local officials were let in to begin looking for bargains.

“It should be interesting,” said customer Brenda Batholoma.

Store Manager Scott Kupper, center, cuts the ribbon dedicating the new Gordmans store Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

One female shopper — who asked not to be identified — said she heard about the Gordmans opening through a friend. She said she was sorry to see Peebles go.

“I loved it,” she said. “They had more of the brand clothes.”

Gordmans presented officials of the Greater Johnstown School District with a check for $1,000.

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson told Gordmans’ staff: “Welcome to Johnstown. I expect big crowds to be coming.”

On hand were additional dignitaries that included state Sen. James Tedisco — who offered Kupper a Senate citation — and state Assemblyman Robert Smullen.

The outside of the new Gordmans store is seen Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“We’re very pleased to be part of the community,” said Kupper, surrounded by store staff.

Chamber President/CEO Mark Kilmer stated: “We hope you have huge amounts of success.”

He noted the Johnstown Mall currently has no empty spaces.

“Welcome to the place where all good things emanate from — the 49th Senatorial District,” Tedisco said.

Smullen said he was pleased to see a good anchor store take over at the Johnstown Mall.

Gordmans store officials present Greater Johnstown School District officials with a $1,000 check at the store's grand opening Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“I’ve been shopping in this mall since I was a boy,” Smullen said.

Johnstown Town Supervisor Jack Wilson said of the city: “Johnstown’s a great place. They have a great downtown, they have a great mall.”

But he said a store like Gordmans is a benefit to the entire area.

Inside the store Tuesday, Gordmans’ newest customers found a variety of low-prices, but quality goods. For example, one could find a pair of pants for $1.98.

The first 100 guests who entered the Johnstown store received a purple Gordmans insulated tote bag and had an opportunity to win a $50 gift card or a $5 shopping card. Customers who enrolled in the Style Circle Rewards program received payback rewards, a birthday gift and more. Peebles department store guests didn’t lose any previously earned points or rewards. Guests who applied and were approved for a Gordmans credit card received 20 percent off their first day’s purchases. Guests were also able to utilize their current Peebles credit card at Gordmans.

Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Mark Kilmer and state Sen. James Tedisco look at items for sale at the new Gordmans store's grand opening Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Johnstown was one of 13 communities across New York state in which Houston-based Gordmans conducted grand openings at the same 9 a.m. Tuesday time. Stage Stores, Inc. is a retailer of trend-right, name-brand values for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. Stage Stores operates in 42 states. Stage stores include: Gordmans, Peebles, Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, and Stage stores.

Kupper told The Leader-Herald that his staff came through well in the transition from Peebles.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “We worked very hard in the 10 days to the opening.”

Kupper insisted former Peebles customers will make an equally smooth transition to Gordmans’ merchandise and will quickly get used to “very low prices.”

According to a Gordmans news release, Gordmans is “where big brands meet everyday low prices, with new fabulous finds every week.”

Store Manager Scott Kupper - surrounded by staff - outlines some of the savings at the new Gordmans store Tuesday at the Johnstown Mall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“Off-price retailer Gordmans has brands you expect at prices you don’t,” the release says. “New fabulous finds arrive each week, including everyone’s favorite brands priced way lower than department stores. Merchandise selection includes apparel and footwear for the family, home decor, accent furniture, wall decor, bedding and bath, kitchen gadgets, fashion jewelry, designer fragrances, toys and pet accessories. There’s also the added convenience of an Amazon Counter inside its stores.”

The release indicated that Gordmans is delivering a “whole new shopping experience,” with everyone’s favorite brands at prices way lower than department stores. Customers can ship their Amazon orders to the in-store Amazon Counter for fast, flexible and secure package pick-up.

“At Gordmans, we’ve put the fun back into shopping by creating an exciting store with terrific deals, fun finds and popular brands at every turn,” said said Michael Glazer, president and CEO of Stage Stores. “This means exceptional values on merchandise for all ages and on-trend decor for the home. New shipments arrive weekly, creating the thrill of a great find. In fact, the finds are so good, our guests often share them on social media.”

Glazer added: “We are proud to be part of so many New York communities, helping to sustain jobs, quality of life and economic growth. Just as exciting is our strategy in bringing the Gordmans shopping experience to almost all of our department store locations across the country during 2020 and positively impacting even more cities.”

The other dozen New York state communities in which Gordmans opened Tuesday were: Albion, Geneseo, Geneva, Gouverneur, Hornell, Hudson, Malone, Newark, Ogdensburg, Oneida, Penn Yan, and Sidney.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.