Stein Mart files for bankruptcy joining other big-name retailers

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Nationwide discount store chain Stein Mart, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday.

“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,” wrote Chief Executive Officer Hunt Hawkins in a news release. 

Hunt said the company will still operate normally “in the near term,” and is evaluating the potential sale of its eCommerce business. 

Stein Mart anticipates a going-out-of-business sale will begin this weekend according to Linda L. Tasseff, Director of External Communications and Investor Relations. She anticipates “all stores will close by the fourth quarter of 2020, with closing dates varying by store.”

The company, which is headquartered are in Jacksonville, Florida, has been in business for 112 years and has more than 280 stores in 30 states. It is a discount giant that specializes in clothes, shoes, and housewares. As of the end of May, there were 8,400 employees.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the big retailers in the U.S. This year there have been over 40 bankruptcies. Last year there were only 23 total.

Among the retailers filing Chapter 11 are Lord & Taylor, J. Crew, Lucky Brand, Neiman Marcus, Men’s Wearhouse, J.C. Penney, Joseph A. Bank, Pier 1 Imports, and Ascena Retail Group, which owns Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant.

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