Struggling Stein-Mart may be the next department store chain to regroup

The public company's board of directors formed a special committee to "identify potential strategic alternatives"

Feb.February 03, 2018 05:15 PM

The Stein-Mart store in Plantation (Credit:

Jacksonville-based discount department store operator Stein-Mart may be the next national retailer to alter its bricks-and-mortar presence. The company announced Jan. 29 that it would “identify potential strategic alternatives” to the structure of its business.

“Given the continuing challenges of the retail environment, it is prudent for us to review our strategic options while focusing on ways to improve our business,” Stein-Mart CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a prepared statement.

Stein-Mart said its board of directors appointed a special committee to assist in the strategic review, for which the company set no timetable.

The stock of the publicly held retailer, traded under ticker symbol SMRT, plunged on news of the strategic review and closed Friday at 64 cents a share, after trading for as much as $3.92 during the last 12 months.

Sales at Stein-Mart stores open at least a year fell almost 7 percent in the third quarter of 2018, steeper than the 4.6 percent decline in the same period in 2017.

Stein-Mart has about 290 stores. The company’s website lists 10 store locations in South Florida, including one in Miami-Dade County (Aventura), four in Broward County (Cooper City, Coral Springs, Plantation and Pompano Beach) and five in Palm Beach County (Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Royal Palm Beach). [CNBC] – Mike Seemuth

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