Stage Stores Inc., which operates more than 540 stores in 30 states, will pay $37 million in cash to acquire B.C. Moore & Sons, the chain of 78 hometown department stores based in Cheraw and Wadesboro, N.C.
But what made this news disappointing is the likelihood that many, if not most jobs, will be lost.
Our hearts go out to the employees and their families who are facing an uncertain future right now.
Some people are saying that young people don't have the same values as workers of yesteryear, which is why the business is being sold.
That may be the case. But in this day and time, many businesses are following this same route. They are downsizing and consolidating.
Having a job in the morning is not a sure thing for anyone anymore.
Employees in Cheraw, Chesterfield, Pageland, Bennettsville and 28 other Moore's locations in South Carolina got the news Friday.
Stage intends to convert 69 Moore's locations in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama into Peebles stores and close the other nine.
The plan is to liquidate the Moore's merchandise, remodel and re-merchandise the stores as Peebles.
Seven South Carolina locations will close, but Stage has not revealed which ones.
“It will be interesting to find out what stores they're planning to close,” Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram said.
But what we know for sure is that Stage is not acquiring B.C. Moore's corporate office, two distribution centers, or any other real estate.
That means Moore's warehouses in Cheraw and Cordele, Ga., and its advertising office in Cheraw, as well as its accounting and credit offices in Wadesboro, will close eventually.
When faced with a job loss, it is fortunate to have a community college in the area so that displaced workers can receive job training and education that will help them to become gainfully employed again.
Moore's President and Chief Operating Officer James C. Crawford III said he “probably won't be making any statements for a few days” about the deal.
We will be all ears when he is ready to make a statement so that we can better understand why this is happening. But even more, the employees of this company need to know what's at stake so that they can prepare for their futures.