By BECKY KISER
Caleb Hudson moved to Hays 18 years ago to begin his career in retail.
He first worked for the former Midwest Drugs at the south end of The Mall and then moved on to several other retail businesses in town to gain management experience.
Hudson is now the store manager of the new Gordmans, which officially opened Thursday morning in Big Creek Crossing, 2918 Vine Street, following a ribbon cutting by the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce and a welcome by Hays vice-mayor Henry Schwaller.
Hudson says Gordmans, with offerings ranging from clothing and home goods, to pet supplies and electronics, is “truly a store for everyone.”
“We are a growing a community. We all know that. We are getting some exciting new businesses in the mall especially with Dollar Tree down the way. We now have a Gordmans to call our own. Before you’d drive to Wichita or Lawrence. So now people will be driving to Hays to go to Gordmans, which is always great,” Hudson said with a smile.
Gordmans is located in the north end of the shopping center, where Stage was. A handful of the Stage employees were hired by Gordmans which employs a total of 23 people.
“They’ve been doing a great job the last month and half, setting up the store. When a lot of them showed up, it was bare floors in here and they have built it into this wonderful store we have now.”
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Hudson also presented a $2,500 dollar donation to Hays High School on behalf of the department store.
“The money is basically going to the good of the school, wherever that falls” said Shyann Schumacher, vice president of HHS StuCo.
Gordmans will continue the festivities during its grand opening weekend through Sunday and will be open longer, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• The first 100 guests in line each day during the celebration weekend (Thursday through Sunday) will receive a free gift (while supplies last).
• Throughout the weekend, Gordmans’ guests who apply and are approved for a Gordmans credit card will receive an additional 20 percent off their first day’s purchases.
Normal operating hours begin Mon., August 20. Those are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.