Stein Mart plans to open six new stores this fall just in time for Christmas. The store openings are part of the company’s 2014 store expansion plan, which includes nine new locations, strategically selected in key growth markets, and seven relocations.
Persistent winter weather took a bite out of Stein Mart’s net income in the first quarter, but the retailer rallied once the weather improved. It closed the quarter with total and comparable-store sales increases, and the upward trend has continued through May.
Stein Mart has named Sara Meza as director of e-commerce. Although Meza came on board in April — after a 12-year tenure at Belk where she led the original launch of the retailer’s website business — the company made the announcement in conjunction with solid first-quarter results.
Stein Mart said that its March sales were unfavorably impacted by the shift of pre-Easter selling from March to April this year, as well as cooler-than-normal temperatures in many parts of the country early in the month.
Despite severe weather that caused a 0.7% decrease in January sales, Stein Mart looks like it will report its seventh consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales increases when it closes the fourth quarter.
Stein Mart is preparing to launch its e-commerce business. The company expects the initiative to have a negative bottom line impact this year, in part, because of startup costs. For the second quarter ended Aug. 3, however, the company is enjoying total sales of $291 million, up 3.8% from the prior-year quarter. Comparable store sales increased 6.4%.
Strong sales in linens, dresses and intimate apparel buoyed Stein Mart’s total sales for the second quarter ended August 3, which increased 3.8% to $290.9 million from $280.4 million for the same quarter last year.