Stage Stores and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Specialty Retailers Inc and Specialty Retailers Inc NV, today announced that they have filed a consolidated Plan of Reorganisation and Disclosure Statement with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The companies expect the Bankruptcy Court to conduct a hearing on May 21, 2001 for the purpose of making a determination as to the adequacy of the Disclosure Statement. Once approval is received from the Bankruptcy Court, the companies will commence solicitation of votes from creditors for approval of the Plan of Reorganization.

Under the terms of the proposed Plan of Reorganisation, pre-petition unsecured creditors will principally receive common stock in a reorganised holding company, Stage Stores Inc, in settlement of their claims. The holders of existing common stock of the company will receive no distribution under the proposed Plan of Reorganisation and it is anticipated that the existing shares of common stock will be cancelled. The reorganised Stage Stores Inc. will continue to operate stores under the Stage, Bealls and Palais Royal names.

The company has focused over the last year on identifying and operating its core store base of 347 stores located primarily in the south central states.

Jim Scarborough, chief executive officer and president, commented, "All of our associates have worked hard at restoring customer relationships. Recent operating results indicate we are regaining the customer's confidence with significant sales gains being achieved. We believe we have accomplished the goals we set forth in filing for Chapter 11 protection and believe the Plan of Reorganisation will allow the company to operate as a profitable entity going forward."