Beall-Ladymon Stores Change Hands

by Kelly Ford  on Monday, Sep. 26, 1994 12:00 am  

There will be a new name on an old face in Arkansas retailing by the first of the year.

Beall-Ladymon Corp., with 49 stores in five states, including 13 in Arkansas, has sold its store leases and certain other assets to Specialty Retailer Inc. of Houston. According to a press release, the final turnover date will be no later than Jan. 31, 1995. No sales figure was disclosed.

The stores, several of which are to be remodeled, will operate under the name STAGE. Other SRI chains are Palais Royal, Fashion Bar and Beall's (just a coincidence — no relation to the Beall-Ladymon stores). SRI will not renew leases that are about to expire for two of the Beall-Ladymon locations, but a company spokeswoman says she isn't yet sure which two that will be.

"We have been negotiating this project for over three years and have finally found the right buyer," says Horace Ladymon, Beall-Ladymon chairman and chief executive officer. "I can't think of a better retailer to continue this company's traditions than SRI ... Their merchandise mix and method of operation are very similar to ours and they are committed to growth which will be beneficial to the communities we serve as well as to our company associates."

Arkansas communities served by Beall-Ladymon are Arkadelphia, Camden, Conway, Crossett, El Dorado, Fort Smith, Hope, Hot Springs, Magnolia, Pine Bluff, Rogers, Russellville, and Searcy. A Little Rock store in Park Plaza Mall was closed more than a year ago.

While Arkansas employment figures were not available, Beall- Ladymon employs more than 400 full-time and 400 part-time associates companywide.

Beall-Ladymon company officials often have referred to their niche as "somewhere between Dillard's and J.C. Penney." The merchandise mix is not expected to change dramatically after the sale of the chain.

On STAGE

The STAGE stores will continue to offer "quality apparel at prices that represent real value" to the customer, says Carl Tooker, president and CEO of SRI. Look for name brands such as Liz Claiborne, Levi Strauss, Elizabeth Arden, Jockey, Guess and Van Heusen.

The number of SRI stores will grow to 280 when the transaction is completed. And the company plans to open at least 20 new stores in 1995 and in each of the next few years.

It currently has stores in Texas, Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. That means there is absolutely no overlap in territories with Beall-Ladymon.

The company's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. With more than 8,000 employees, the SRI did about $800 million in sales last year.

Beall-Ladymon Corp., based in Shreveport, La., was founded in 1951 when W.F. Beall and R.C. Ladymon first opened five stores in north Louisiana towns. Horace Ladymon, the son of R.C., became president in 1974. The privately held company has about 60 shareholders, says a company spokesman.

In 1992 the company began a consolidation of some of its stores. Industry insiders had talked about financial woes at the company for some time.

 

 

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