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Stein Mart Posts Better Results, Details E-Commerce Launch

In restating results for 2011 and the first quarter of the latest fiscal year, as the company previously announced it would do, Stein Mart, Inc. posted an increase in net income to $25 million, or 57 cents per diluted share, for 2012 from $19.9 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, in previous annum. The retailer also related plans for its e-commerce launch.

The company already offers gift cards on line but doesn’t sell goods. That’s about to change. In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Stein Mart stated that it had contracted with a third-party provider to create, operate and host an e-commerce website. The supplier also will provide related order fulfillment and customer service.

Stein Mart plans to launch its e-commerce business in mid to late 2013 with a representative merchandise selection, according to the filing. The e-commerce operation will help the retailer engage new customers and increase share of existing shopper spend, it continued. Still, Stein Mart said the e-commerce initiative will have a negative bottom line impact in 2013 from start-up costs and lower margins because of fulfillment costs at the expected initial sales volume. The company said it would incur about $3 million in start-up costs related to the launch of the e-commerce operation as well as the transition of supply chain from third-party to company-operated locations.

The restatement corrected errors in inventory markdowns, compensated absences, leased department commissions, sales returns, insurance-related assets and liabilities and related factors, Stein Mart noted.

Stein Mart has reported that total sales for the 53-week period ended February 2 were $1.23 billion versus $1.18 billion in the 52-week period ended January 28, 2012. Comparable store sales gained 2.7% year over year.