Stein Mart filing for bankruptcy and closing its stores

AP Photo/Tamara Lush

Off-brand retailer Stein Mart announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that it will be permanently shuttering most, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores after being in business for more than a century.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based retailer said in a news release that it has already begun liquidating its inventory and shutting down stores across the country. Stein Mart joins several other national retailers that were struggling with slumping sales pre-pandemic and that were hit hard when the coronavirus prompted closures.

Prior to the pandemic, Stein Mart was working on a merger with a spin-off company owned by its chairman, Jay Stein.

“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business,” Hunt Hawkins, CEO of Stein Mart, Inc., said in the news announcement.

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Stein Mart, which operates 281 stores across 30 states, has been in business since 1908. The company sells clothes and home goods from high-end brands at a discount. Most of the stores are in the Southeast, Texas, Arizona and California, according to the bankruptcy documents.

The company has struggled to compete with e-commerce retailers, and sales have been declining since 2016, according to the filing.

Leading up the bankruptcy announcement, Stein Mart furloughed 132 workers at its headquarters, received a $10 million relief loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program and, in 2018, had hired an outside consultant to review its finances, according to the Tampa Bay Times. In 2019, the company began partnering with Amazon and had order pickup lockers in many of its stores.

Other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy in 2020 include J.C. Penney, Art Van Furniture, Tuesday Morning, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Sur la Table, Pier 1 and Brooks Brothers.

Wanting to shop the Stein Mart liquidation sales? Here’s where you can find a list of the stores that are going out of business and clearing out their inventory.

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Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.