Stein Mart is the latest retail victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based off-pricer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to permanently close most of, if not all, its 279 stores. Stein Mart said it already has launched a store closing and liquidation process and continues to operate its business in the “ordinary course” in the near term. The retailer also is considering the sale of its e-commerce operations and intellectual property.
[Further reading: Stein Mart signals it might not survive pandemic]
“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business,” Hunt Hawkins, CEO, said in a statement. “The company has determined that the best strategy to maximize value will be a liquidation of its assets pursuant to an organized going out of business sale. The company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business.”
More than 40 retailers have filed for bankruptcy in 2020 so far, many doing so to restructure their businesses and downsize their store portfolios. Some are also emerging with new owners, the most recent being Sur La Table. Similar to many of the companies that have filed, Stein Mart was struggling pre-pandemic.