It’s not often that a new department store enters the Twin Cities marketplace, which explains why locals are buzzing about Gordmans, which opened Thursday at Burnsville Center.
Gordmans' location at the mall, 901 County Road 42 W., is a site formerly occupied by a furniture-liquidation outlet and prior to that, a Steve and Barry’s sportswear store.
Gordmans has drawn comparisons to stores like J.C. Penney and Kohl’s, but according to CEO Jeff Gordman, what really sets the store apart is its commitment to carrying only nationally known brand names in apparel, accessories, footwear, gifts, furniture and other household goods.
“Gordmans features everyday savings of up to 60 percent off department and specialty store prices,” said Gordman from the company headquarters in Omaha, NE. “While the company operates within the value segment of the industry, Gordmans differentiates itself by offering department and specialty store name brands, fashions and styles in a more upscale shopping environment.”
Gordmans has a long history in the Midwest. Originally known as Richman-Gordman, the first store opened in Omaha in the late 1930s. More stores were added in Nebraska and other surrounding states – for several years, the chain also included ½ Price Stores.
In 1996, Jeff Gordman became CEO and the store was renamed Gordmans. There are currently 68 Gordmans stores in 16 states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Colorado.
Publicly traded on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol GMAN, Gordmans has seen significant growth in recent years, expanding the number of its stores by nearly 50 percent since 2007. In addition to the Burnsville Center site, Gordmans also opened a store last week in Woodbury at Tamarack Village. Both communities are considered to be “top submarkets” in the Twin Cities metro area, according to Gordman.
As is the case in all communities where Gordmans are located, Burnsville residents can expect to see a strong local presence from their new department store. According to Gordman, the store has a long history of involvement with Partners in Education, a collaboration between businesses, civic organizations and public schools throughout the United States.
“In conjunction with our guests, our company has raised over $800,000 for this worthwhile cause since 2000,” he said. “In honor of our grand opening in Burnsville, we will be donating $2,500 to the local school district as well as collecting donations from our guests during our two-week grand opening period.”
The best place to see a preview of Gordmans may be on their website at www.gordmans.com, which even includes an interactive store tour. In addition to the website, Gordmans is actively involved in social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as a primary means of advertising sales and specials to customers.
Though it's been doing business for a few days, the official grand opening of the Burnsville Gordmans will begin at 10 a.m Friday, in conjunction with the Burnsville Center shopping hours. Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Daron Van Helden, president of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, will be on hand. CEO Jeff Gordman will also be in attendance.
Jason Baker, manager of the Burnsville Center Gordmans, said “there has been some excitement building around the opening of the store,” in part due to the fact that with its presence in Iowa, Wisconsin and other Midwest states, “it’s not a brand new store" to many area residents.