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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jun. 3, 202004:58 PM EST

Stein Mart reports 57% drop in Q1 sales during pandemic

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The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer also expects an operating loss for the quarter.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Stein Mart Inc. reported a sharp drop in first-quarter sales and projected a big operating loss after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its stores to close.

The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer said June 3 that sales in the first quarter ended May 2 dropped to $134.3 million from $314.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

That is a 57.2% drop.

Stein Mart said it expects to report an operating loss of $64 million to $68 million for the quarter and plans to release final results by June 30.

Stein Mart closed its 281 stores in 30 states March 19. It began reopening them April 23 and 255 stores now are open, it said.

The company said traffic in stores is increasing and sales recovered in May, but remained lower than last year.

“We are diligently working to recover from the loss of revenue while stores were closed and significantly lower year-over-year sales since reopening and are taking actions to preserve liquidity and improve our financial position,” CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a news release.

Stein Mart said online sales jumped 47% in April with stores closed for most of the month.

It also said online sales continued to be strong after stores reopened.

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