EDENTON — This year’s holiday shopping in Edenton will take place without Peebles department store, a longtime fixture in the downtown.
Stage Stores, the company that owned and operated Peebles stores and a number of other retailers, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and all Peebles stores have since held liquidation sales and closed.
Known at various times also as Gordmans, the Peebles store’s closure is a blow for Edenton and its downtown shopping district.
Jennifer Harriss, executive director of Destination Downtown Edenton, acknowledged in an interview that Peebles/Gordmans has been an important part of the town’s downtown district and the store’s departure leaves a big hole to fill.
“We are working really hard to find a retailer and to capture those sales that we lost by losing Peebles,” Harriss said. “We understand the importance of capturing the retail sales to support our community.”
Harriss said Destination Downtown Edenton would welcome a regional business wanting to expand in Edenton.
“We’re looking regionally as well as nationally,” she said.
Harriss noted that regional retailers Creswell Furniture and Sound Feet Shoes have done well in downtown Edenton. And although not part of the actual downtown district, regional building supply dealer Kellogg Company also has done well in the town, she added.
It has been a point of pride in Edenton that the town’s downtown district had kept a department store long after most such stores had left other downtowns.
When Belk vacated the space, community leaders looked for a retailer that would carry similar merchandise, including apparel, and were able to bring the Gordmans/Peebles brand to town.
Harriss said she and other downtown leaders are not limiting their efforts to departments stores or apparel merchants to fill the Peebles storefront.
“It doesn’t have to be clothing,” she said.
Harriss said Destination Downtown Edenton is simply looking for a business that would help fill a need in the community.
A local or regional business interested in expanding to the site may contact Harriss at (252) 333-0655.