Stein Mart Inc. said Aug. 11 it laid off a large number of employees at its Jacksonville headquarters as the fashion retailer struggles to rebuild sales and its losses mount.
“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business,” said Linda Tasseff, director of external communications and investor relations, by email.
“As a result, we had to make the difficult decision to lay off a substantial number of associates from our corporate office to reduce our expenses,” she said.
The company did not say how many workers were impacted.
Stein Mart had 375 employees in its corporate office at 1200 Riverplace Blvd. on the Downtown Southbank before the pandemic.
It furloughed about half of those workers in March when the company temporarily closed all of its 281 stores.
It also furloughed most of the 8,600 employees in its stores and supply chain.
Stein Mart began reopening stores April 23 and bringing corporate employees back to work.
All stores were back open by June 15 but with reduced staff and hours.
The company already was struggling before the pandemic and the store closures hurt first-quarter results even more.
Stein Mart’s total sales in the first quarter ended May 2 dropped 57.3% to $134.3 million and the company recorded a net loss of $65.7 million, or $1.38 a share.
Stein Mart had a net loss of $10.5 million, or 22 cents a share, in fiscal 2019.