Stein Mart furloughing most store employees and 'significant' number of corporate and supply-chain workers

The Jacksonville-based retailer also is cutting salaries and keeping retail locations closed indefinitely.

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 2:10 p.m. March 31, 2020
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
The Stein Mart headquarters at 1200 Riverplace Blvd.
The Stein Mart headquarters at 1200 Riverplace Blvd.
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Stein Mart Inc. said March 31 it is extending the closing of its 281 stores and is cutting staff and compensation as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.

The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer said it is furloughing most of the 8,600 employees in its stores and in its supply chain.

It is also cutting about half of the 375 employees in its corporate office at 1200 Riverplace Blvd. on the Downtown Southbank.

The company also said it is reducing executive management salaries by 20% and cutting the pay of other remaining workers at a lower rate.

“The decision to furlough our associates was extremely difficult but required to manage through this unprecedented business interruption. Our furloughed associates will continue to receive their benefits and we will bring them back as soon as possible,” CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a news release.

Stein Mart announced two weeks ago it would close its stores through March 31 but based on the latest guidance on COVID-19, it is extending the closings indefinitely. The company said it can’t predict when the stores could reopen.

Customers can shop at the company’s e-commerce site.

An affiliate of Kingswood Capital Management agreed in January to buy all shares of the company not owned by Chairman Jay Stein for 90 cents a share.

Stein will continue to own about one-third of the company after the buyout.

Stein Mart’s stock was trading at about half the buyout price, at 44 cents, when the company announced Tuesday afternoon it was extending the store closings.

The company has not commented on the status of the buyout since the pandemic-related market collapse. The buyout was expected to be completed by midyear.



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