Too bad none of this speculation matters anymore. Due to COVID-19, it was recently announced that all Stage affiliated stores are now being completely liquidated and all the locations are going out of business permanently! So they never had any opportunity to execute their 2020 plans to convert a substantial portion of their other stores into the off-price concept of Gordmans.
Also, it was probably a bad idea that stage decided to acquire Gordmans from bankruptcy in 2017. It definitely didn't help Stage. Having almost 800 brick and mortar locations to operate (in addition to online sales) probably stretched themselves too thin as a company. If a big box store competitor like J.C. Penney cannot handle having 800 stores (which we now know they can't), then what hope was there for Stage to think they could make it with just as many locations? I think they were probably kidding themselves and had unrealistic aspirations that were a bit too ambitious.
History keeps teaching us time and time again that there's no such thing as being "too big to fail." The bigger they are, the harder they fall.