Peebles set to fill vacant Kmart space in Wadsworth [The Akron Beacon Journal :: ]
(Akron Beacon Journal (OH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 15--Peebles -- part of a department store chain that specializes in bringing name brands to small and mid-size towns -- is coming to Wadsworth.
The new store is set to open March 20 in a portion of the former Kmart at 180 Great Oaks Trail. The space has been vacant for more than three years, and Wadsworth city leaders have been eager to see it filled.
It will be the first Peebles to open in the Akron-Canton area. Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio, there are Peebles stores in Chardon and Salem.
Peebles stores are part of publicly held Stage Stores Inc. of Houston, and the Wadsworth location is part of a plan to open 30 of its store brands this year. The stores operate under the Peebles, Bealls, Goody's Palais Royal, Stage and Steele's names, offering brand-name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear.
"We're expanding all over," said Rachel Goodman, public relations and events specialist for Stage Stores. "We have some [other] stores opening this spring in Pennsylvania, and some in Nevada. ... We are growing."
In Wadsworth, Peebles will occupy about 20,000 square feet of the former Kmart, said Rob Lang, vice president of real estate for the Pittsburgh company that manages the property from owner Daniel Kamin.
Lang said Friday that his company, Kamin Realty Co., is talking with a possible tenant for the remaining roughly 40,000 square feet at the site off state Route 94.
"We are pretty close to having somebody for that" space, he said.
A Tractor Supply Co. opened last year in roughly 20,000 square feet of the former Kmart.
Stage Stores Inc. boasts about 900 stores in 40 states. The company roots go back to 1920, with the founding of Palais Royal and Bealls as family-owned businesses. In 1988, an operation called Three Bealls Brothers and Palais Royal merged to form Specialty Retailers Inc. in Houston.
Specialty Retailers grew by acquiring other chains, and in 1996 went public under the Stage Stores Inc. name.
In 2003, Stage Stores acquired the Peebles chain of Virginia. Stage maintained the Peebles offices in South Hill, Va., until last year when it consolidated the Virginia operation into its headquarters in Houston.
Last month, Stage Stores joined several other national retailers in reporting disappointing holiday revenues. Sales for company stores open for at least a year fell 1.5 percent for the nine-week period ended Jan. 4.
"We were pleased with our strong sales in early November and during Thanksgiving and Black Friday," Michael Glazer, president and CEO, said in a statement. "However, traffic slowed in the weeks leading to Christmas and we were not able to maintain our early positive sales trend."
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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