Nebraska based discount department store Gordmans announced Monday they filed for bankruptcy and plan to liquidate all their stores. Jim Otto is the president of the Nebraska Retail Federation and says this news follows announcements by other big retailers who are also closing locations across the country.
Otto says, “It is a continuation of a trend we have seen we’re seeing nationwide. Brick-and-mortar retailers are having a real challenge and the number one concern and competitors are the Amazon’s of the world. It is just more convenient for people to shop online.”
Otto says in order to be successful, brick-and-mortar stores need to have a niche market, unique merchandise and even provide some entertainment. He says years ago when Gordmans was Richman-Gordman they had a zoo play area for children. He says now sporting goods stores have ferris wheels inside to attract customers. He says it isn’t bad for stores to develop a destination marketing plan to get people in the door.
Even if people enter those stores they have to offer some incentive for people to buy their products. Otto says, “If you can buy the same thing at 50 different places you are going to have a hard time in your brick-and-mortar store because people will go for price. Unless you can give some advice or expertise as to how the product is used, it has to be more than the product because you can get that online.”
Gordmans has been in operation since 1915 and currently operates 106 stores in 22 states.