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Stein Mart cutting workforce as part of cost reduction

Stein Mart is continuing its effort to control costs.

The off-pricer announced that it is reducing its corporate office headcount by about 10%. The action is expected to result in total savings of approximately $10 million.

The job cuts follow cost-control measures announced by Stein Mart this year. These include lowering inventories by 15%, cutting capital expenditures by $22 million and suspending the quarterly dividend ($14 million annual savings).

"While we believe our sales-driving strategies are now taking hold, we are still in a very challenging retail environment," said Hunt Hawkins, CEO, Stein Mart, which operates 293 stores across 31 states. "With this in mind, we are taking the necessary steps to better position our company for long-term success."

With regards to the chain's financial performance, Hawkins said that the trend of same-store sales decreases continued into the third quarter and was slightly worse in August and September due to the impacts of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"With only a few days remaining in the month, however, October comp store sales are flat reflecting traction from new merchandising and marketing initiatives put into place this fall," he said. "We are encouraged by this significant shift from the negative comp sales trend we saw through September and believe our current strategies are the right ones to build our unique and valuable brand."
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