Stein Mart Makes September Gains Despite Hurricane Impact

In the five-week period ended September 29, Stein Mart, Inc. reported that comparable store sales increased 2.4% versus the month last year. Year over year, total sales increased 3.9% in September to $102.7 million.

According to the company, linens and ladies’ career sportswear enjoyed the strongest sales for the month, while ladies’ accessories, men’s sportswear and ladies’ boutique were weaker. Geographically, September sales were strongest in Stein Mart’s Texas and Florida stores.

“Early in the month, sales were impacted by hurricane Isaac resulting in a number of stores not being operational for a period of time,” said Jay Stein, interim CEO. ” Despite this, we were able to deliver positive results this month. We began to reduce regular priced coupons in November of last year, but this was preceded by a high volume of coupons in October. Therefore, our challenge in October and the remaining holiday selling season will be to increase our sales against the prior year, which includes the higher amount of couponing.”

Stein Mart operated 262 stores at the end of September compared to 261 at the same time last year. The company opened one store in September and closed two. The new store operates in Surprise, AZ, near Phoenix. The store closings were in Kansas City, MO, and Rolling Hills, CA.  The company relocated stores in McAllen, TX, and Biloxi, MS.