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Gordmans is a chain of mid-western off-price department stores founded and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The retailer operates 81 stores in 18 states in the United States.
In 1936, Dan Gordman quit his job at a Bloomingdale's in New York City and decided to move west in hopes of finding his own calling in life. A need for car repairs brought Gordman to Omaha, Nebraska, where he found a loving relationship with Esther Richman as well as a business relationship with her father Sam Richman. The company's origins went back to the early 20th century when Sam Richman opened a small clothing store in Omaha in 1915. Sam Richman's Outfitters to the Family occupied a small storefront block-long building at 16th and Chicago in downtown Omaha. Dan Gordman joined Sam as a full partner in the business and married his daughter Esther. Several years passed, and eventually the business had grown to occupy the entire building at 16th and Chicago. In 1948, a second store was opened in South Omaha, Nebraska and then Dan purchased Sam's remaining interest in the Company, and the name of the stores was changed to Richman Gordman.
During the 1960s, Jerry and Nelson, Dan's sons, and his nephew Bob joined Dan in Richman Gordman and positioned the company for more aggressive expansion. In the early 1970s, the company expanded beyond Nebraska. Richman Gordman opened two stores in Des Moines, Iowa followed by another location in Topeka, Kansas. Richman Gordman's 10th store opened in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1974. Dan Gordman was among the first to incorporate central checkouts, shopping carts, and self-service shoes to Omaha. Dan was also one of the first stores to be open on Sundays.
1/2 Price Store
In 1975, Dan opened a small test store in South Omaha at 25th and L Streets named the 1/2 Price Store. The concept was to sell Richman Gordman merchandise at half price. The concept led to the opening of six more 1/2 Price Stores in the 1970s and a separate corporate structure was built to accommodate the growing business. By the time the company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1990, it operated 16 1/2 Price Store off-price department stores and 16 Richman Gordman department stores. In 1992, however, Richman Gordman filed for bankruptcy protection, and all of its department stores closed. The off-price department store division became the company's sole focus after it emerged from bankruptcy under the Richman Gordman 1/2 Price Stores name in 1993.
In 1996, the birth of Gordmans took three years, converting all 1/2 Price Stores into the Gordmans brand. The idea came from Dan's vision of providing name brands at a cost savings. The company decided to develop a new prototype store and attempted to improve the store's presentation. Out the combined efforts of hundreds of associates, the first two Gordmans stores opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma in August 1999.
Sun Capital Partners bought the company in 2008. It was taken public again in 2010 with Sun continuing to hold a majority stake.
Gordmans. "About Us/History", 2007. Retrieved on 2011-02-19.