Stein Mart

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Stein Mart Inc.
IndustryRetail (Department stores)
Founded1908; 113 years ago (1908)
Greenville, Mississippi, U.S.
FounderSam Stein
DefunctSeptember 2020
FateRelaunched as Stein Mart Online Inc
Headquarters1200 Riverplace Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Number of locations
283 (March 2019)
Key people
Jay Stein (Chairman)
David Hunt Hawkins (CEO)
Gregory W. Kleffner (EVP, Finance and CFO)
MaryAnne Morin (President)
ProductsBoutique, apparel, footwear, linens, and home decor
RevenueIncrease US$1.36 billion (2016)
Decrease US$3.57 million (2016)
Decrease US$401,000 (2016)
Total assetsIncrease US$527.85 million (2016)
Total equityDecrease US$70.26 million (2016)
Number of employees
11,000 (2017) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2020)

Stein Mart was an American discount men and women's department store chain based in Jacksonville, Florida. Stein Mart had locations primarily in the Southeast, Texas, and California. Stein Mart stores sold recent trends in clothing for both men and women. Additionally, home decor, accessories, and shoes were all available at discounted prices.

In August 2020, the company announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it planned to close all of its 279 stores.[1]


Stein Mart store at the South Mall in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Stein Mart was founded in 1908 by Sam Stein, a Russian Jewish immigrant who opened his first store in Greenville, Mississippi. The department store carried general merchandise until his son, Jake Stein, took over the company upon his father Sam's death in 1932. The store then redirected its focus toward discounted clothing.

The chain targeted customers who shopped department stores on a regular basis, inducing them to purchase goods by offering discounts of 25 to 60 percent off department store prices. By the late 1970s, Stein Mart had become a leading retailer of clothing for the family in the Mississippi Delta.

Under Jay Stein's leadership, Stein Mart grew from three stores in 1977 to 40 stores in 1990, and then to 123 stores by the end of 1996. In determining the prime locations for new Stein Mart stores, management targeted cities with populations of 125,000 or more and relied on demographic research regarding income, education, and occupation to help predict whether a community might support a discounter of designer merchandise.[2]

In 2003, Stein Mart introduced the "Real Shopper" campaign with support from Orlando-based advertising agency, Fry Hammond Barr. This multimedia advertising campaign features real Stein Mart shoppers chosen via casting calls held throughout the country.[3] Each season six to eight female shoppers are chosen to appear in the campaign and are featured in Stein Mart's Sisterhood book online.

In 2013, the company reported a profit of $25.6 million[4] with operation of 260 stores[5] in 29 states.

In October 2017, in response to the downward trend of the company's stock price, the company announced plans to improve its financials by cutting 10% of their corporate staff, trimming inventory by 15%, slashing $22 million from the prior year's capital expenses, and suspending the 4th quarter stock dividend.[6]

In January 2018, Stein Mart announced that it would explore strategic alternatives for the company.[7] In February 2020, Stein Mart entered into a deal to make the company private; its common stock would no longer be listed on any public stock market. The transaction is subject to approval by Stein Mart shareholders and was "expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2020."[8]


On August 12, 2020, Stein Mart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Later, it was announced that all Stein Mart locations would be closing permanently.[9][10][1][11]


In 2002, Jay Stein stepped down as CEO but remained as chairman and the largest Stein Mart shareholder. John H. Williams Jr. served as vice chairman and chief executive officer of the company from September 2001 to February 2003 and still serves on the Stein Mart board.[12]

Michael D. Fisher held the position of president and chief executive officer of the company from 2003 to August 2007. At that time, Fisher resigned and Linda McFarland Farthing was appointed as president and chief executive officer of Stein Mart. Farthing had been a longtime Stein Mart board member and held the president and CEO position for one year.[13] Upon her resignation in 2008, David H. Stovall Jr., served as CEO until 2011. In September 2011, he announced his retirement, leaving Jay Stein to take over as the interim CEO.

On April 25, 2014, Stein Mart announced that the Board of Directors had created the Office of the President, appointing D. Hunt Hawkins and Brian R. Morrow to share the office. Both reported to CEO Jay Stein. Hawkins had been with the company for 20 years, starting as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and COO since December 2011. Morrow joined Stein Mart as Chief Merchandising Officer in February 2010 after holding similar positions with Macy's North/Marshall, Mervyn's and Macy's West.[14]

On March 15, 2016, Stein Mart named Dawn Robertson as CEO, replacing Jay Stein.[15] Robertson resigned as CEO in September 2016 at which time D. Hunt Hawkins was named Interim CEO.

On January 26, 2017, the company announced the appointment of MaryAnne Morin as president and "interim" was removed from the CEO title of D. Hunt Hawkins.[14]

When Stein Mart's Director of Stores Gary Pierce requested early retirement on May 1, 2018, he agreed to remain with the company until the end of February 2019. The Form 8-K filed by Stein Mart stated that Executive Vice President Pierce would stay, “in order to provide for an orderly transition of his duties”.[16]


The ladies department at a typical Stein Mart store.

Stein Mart sells clothes for women and men as well as home décor, accessories, and shoes. Each store has about 30 employees.[1]

Stein Mart expanded their home department in 2010, adding houseware and décor for the house.[17] The "Boutique" portion of the store offers women special occasion clothing. The "Attitudes" section of the store carries clothing for women.[18]

For decades Stein Mart has leased its shoe department, currently working with DSW, Inc. In 2010, Stein Mart started working with Perfumania in 2010 to stock an assortment of fragrances.

In October 2010, due to popular demand by Stein Mart shoppers, the retailer began offering limited online shopping with Ship from Store for shorter delivery times.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Valinsky, Jordan (August 12, 2020). "Stein Mart files for bankruptcy and will close most of its 300 stores". CNN. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  2. ^ "The Stein Mart Saga". St. Petersburg Times. 2004-10-16.
  3. ^ "Stein Mart Re-Enlists Fry Hammond Barr to Return Focus to Real Shoppers". American Association of Advertising Agencies. Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "Stein Mart Reports 4Q and Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results".
  5. ^ "Stein Mart Sales climb in August". BusinessWeek. Associated Press. 2010-09-02. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Ghabour, Dahlia (October 26, 2017). "Stein Mart to eliminate 10 percent of corporate workers". Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  7. ^ a b Howland, Daphne (January 31, 2018). "Stein Mart exploring 'strategic alternatives'". Retail Dive. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Jones, Nick (2020-02-01). "Stein Mart announces agreement to become private company". WJXT. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  9. ^ Thomas, Lauren (12 August 2020). "Stein Mart files for bankruptcy and plans to close most, if not all, of its stores". CNBC. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Stein Mart® - Official Site - Name Brands For Less | Stein Mart". Stein Mart. 2020-08-29. Archived from the original on August 29, 2020. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  11. ^ "Bankrupt Stein Mart to Close, Sell All 279 U.S. Stores". wsj. 13 August 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Forbes profile on John H. Williams".
  13. ^ "Stein Mart Announces New CEO Farthing".
  14. ^ a b Ghabour, Dahlia (April 9, 2018). "Changing Stein Mart's direction: a SM(a)RT Turnaround". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  15. ^ "Jacksonville-based Stein Mart names new CEO". Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  16. ^ Ghabour, Dahlia (April 9, 2018). "Stein Mart executive vice president announces imminent retirement". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  17. ^ "Stein Mart focused on Home Reinvent plan to grow home - again". Home Textiles Today. 2010-06-08. Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  18. ^ "Stein Mart aims at younger demographic". Jacksonville Business Journal. 2009-03-19.

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