VALPARAISO | The city could have two more stores where you can do your Christmas shopping this year: Gordman's and Hobby Lobby.
Representatives of both businesses have appeared before the city's Site Review Committee in the past month or so to discuss plans for building stores at the north end of Porter's Vale Shopping Center. Gordman's plans appear to be a little more definite than those for Hobby Lobby at this point.
In response to a request for information about the plans for the Hobby Lobby, spokesman Vince Parker said, "We are actively looking in the area. Unfortunately, we have no signed lease at this time. We would love to become part of the Valparaiso community."
A spokesman for Lauth Group Inc., which owns Porter's Vale, could not be reached for comment on the Hobby Lobby status.
The Omaha, Neb., based Gordman's is in an aggressive expansion mode, and Valparaiso is definitely in its plans. The apparel and home decor retailer hopes to open its 50,000-square-foot store by October, and has plans for nine others across the country in 2013, including two each in Albuquerque, N.M., and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Valparaiso store will be the company's sixth in Indiana and is expected to hire 75 to 100 people.
"Gordman's mission is to delight our guests with big savings, big selection and fun, friendly associates," company President and CEO Jeff Gordman said. "We believe that our everyday savings on name brand apparel for the family, accessories and home decor resonate with our guests and have enabled our expansion in Indiana and across the United States."
Founded in 1915, Gordman's has 83 stores in 47 markets and 18 states. It is ranked 29th on the 2012 "Forbes" magazine list of America's 100 best small-cap companies. Its wide range of merchandise is offered at discounts of up to 60 percent.
The proposed Hobby Lobby store has been described by Lauth as also being about 50,000 square feet. Based in Oklahoma City, the company started in 1972 with a 300-square-foot store. It now has 525 stores averaging 55,000 square feet and is considered a leader in the arts and crafts industry.