Family goods retailer Stage Stores said it has applied for listing of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, and anticipates its stock will start trading on the exchange on 16 March under the symbol SSI.

Stage's common stock has traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol STGS since 8 January 2002. Its series A and series B warrants, which have also traded on the NASDAQ National Market since 8 January 2002 under the symbols STGSW and STGSZ, respectively, will not move to the NYSE since they will expire on 23 August 2006.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and CEO, said: "Our move to the New York Stock Exchange highlights the growth and progress that we have made since our emergence from bankruptcy almost five years ago, in August of 2001.

"We view this move as a significant event for our company, and one that is consistent with our goal of enhancing shareholder value. Although we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with NASDAQ, we believe that our listing on the New York Stock Exchange will increase our company's visibility, reduce trading volatility, and offer more efficient pricing. We are pleased to be joining the list of other distinguished companies on this premier stock exchange."

Stage Stores operates in the US under the Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names.