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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jun. 30, 202004:31 PM EST

Stein Mart reports Q1 loss of almost $66 million

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The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer says its challenges are significant, but “not insurmountable.”
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Stein Mart Inc. reported a net loss of $65.7 million, or $1.38 a share, for the first quarter ended May 2, as store closures for the COVID-19 pandemic sharply reduced sales.

The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer closed all of its 281 stores March 19 and began reopening them April 23.

All stores were reopened as of June 15, operating with reduced hours, and the company said it continues to be impacted by lower in-store traffic.

Stein Mart previously announced first-quarter sales dropped by 57% to $134.3 million.

“While sales are exceeding our expectations, they continue to be down to last year and we expect it will take some time for them to fully recover,” CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a June 30 news release.

“Although we are facing a period of uncertainty regarding the continued impacts of COVID-19, we have charted a path forward to proactively address these near-term challenges and preserve our business. While these challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable,” he said.

Stein Mart said it is exploring new sources of financing and considering strategic alternatives, which could include a sale of the company.

The company had agreed to a buyout by a private equity firm Jan. 31, but that sale was called off April 16 because of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

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