Jeff Gordman brought family business back from the brink Featured

1:31pm EDT July 5, 2011
Jeff Gordman brought family business back from the brink

Jeff Gordman’s path to success was not the easiest, even for someone who was the great-grandson of the Gordmans Stores Inc. founder. Joining the company in 1990, Gordman was shortly thrown into the fray when a reorganization plan was approved, his grandfather died and a nonfamily person assumed the CEO position.

The company’s performance started to seriously deteriorate. Gordman submitted a strategy to rescue the business and asked to be appointed CEO. Under his leadership, the company repositioned itself and executed a successful turnaround. Over the next decade it continued to prosper and expand, changing its name from 1/2 Price Stores. In 2008, the company was sold to a private equity firm. Gordman remained CEO through the economic downturn and a successful IPO last year.

Realizing the importance of constantly improving upon the status quo, Gordman put together a combination that competes with all other retail formats: savings of up to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices, a wide selection of fashion-oriented apparel, footwear, accessories and home fashions, and shopping that is fun and entertaining. Gordmans Giggles children’s theater and a sports-themed seating area add a sense of adventure to each shopping trip.

Even more good things are in store for shoppers as the company refines an innovative pricing optimization process that through recognition of patterns determines the appropriate time to mark down merchandise to better clear its shelves.

Gordmans plans to increase the number of stores by more than 10 percent a year. Currently, there are 68 stores in 16 states. It was recognized as one of the 25 fastest-growing companies in 2003 and 2004. It also has received two Circle of Humanitarian awards from the American Red Cross for significant fundraising campaigns for the Asian Tsunami Relief Effort, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian Earthquake Relief Effort. A similar campaign is under way for victims of the recent Japanese earthquake.

How to reach: Gordmans Stores Inc., (402) 691-4000 or www.gordmans.com