Stein Mart to open 35 stores in Florida next week

The fashion retailer also wants to reopen its Southbank headquarters.

  • By
  • | 1:30 p.m. April 30, 2020
  • Business
  • Share

Stein Mart Inc. plans to reopen 35 stores in Florida next after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued business reopening guidelines on April 29.

The state openings follow the fashion retailer's plans to reopen a third of its 281 stores nationwide this week.

In Florida, stores can open May 4 at 25% capacity. The openings exclude the three South Florida counties that remain under stricter rules.

Stein Mart also hopes to reopen its corporate office next week, Stein Mart spokeswoman Linda Tasseff said April 30 by email.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stein Mart closed its store network on March 18.

Two weeks later, the company furloughed most of the 8,600 employees in its stores and supply chain and about half of the 375 employees in its corporate office at 1200 Riverplace Blvd. on the Downtown Southbank.

Tasseff said the corporate office will reopen in phases to adjust to new spacing requirements and business needs.

“Associates on furlough will likely be brought back on a staggered basis and continue to work flexible schedules,” she said.

“As we navigate through this ‘new normal’ with additional precautionary measures, we can all help each other - customers, associates and business partners - by continuing to follow these important (safety) guidelines,” CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a news release.

Stein Mart said it expects to open one-third of the chain by May 1 and to “rapidly accelerate” more openings in the coming weeks.

The reopening of stores is scheduled by state.

Stein Mart opened stores in South Carolina and Arkansas last week and expects to have stores open in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas by May 1.

Stein Mart, which has continued to offer merchandise online, also said it is launching a contactless curbside pickup service.

Stein Mart is implementing new safety measures for its stores, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The measures include sanitizing checkout lanes and carts and implementing social distancing guidelines, with store employees required to wear masks. Fitting rooms will be closed.