Stein Mart files for bankruptcy, to close nearly 300 stores

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — National discount department store chain Stein Mart is filing for bankruptcy and will close most, if not all, of its stores.

There is one Stein Mart store in Middle Georgia located at 4357 Forsyth Road in Macon.

The 112-year-old Florida-based company said in a news release that it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Wednesday.

It said the downturn in the economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was too difficult to overcome.

Stein Mart has more than 280 stores in 30 states specializing in clothing, shoes and housewares at discount prices.

Many are in community shopping centers.

As of May 30, the company employed about 8,400 people. Stein Mart first started doing business in Mississippi in 1908.

The company said in a news release:

    • The Company expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores and, in connection therewith, the Company has launched a store closing and liquidation process. The Company, however, will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course in the near term; and
    • The Company is evaluating any and all strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of its eCommerce business and related intellectual property.

Hunt Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of Stein Mart, Inc., said, “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. The Company has determined that the best strategy to maximize value will be a liquidation of its assets pursuant to an organized going out of business sale. The Company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business. I would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and support.”