Discount retailer Stein Mart has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close most of its stores, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Jacksonville company did not say which stores it planned to close, or when; only that it would operate as normal in the near term. Chief executive officer and chief financial officer Hunt Hawkins said in a statement it would soon sell off its assets in “an organized going out of business sale.”
Founded in Mississippi in 1908, the chain operated 281 stores nationwide as of this spring, but like a lot of retailers, struggled mightily during the coronavirus pandemic. In March it furloughed 132 workers at its headquarters, and in June received a $10 million relief loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.
The company had been exploring a sale this summer, but had seen its fortunes fade well before 2020. Its stock has fallen from more than $16 per share in 2015 to about 16 cents per share on Wednesday. In 2018, it hired an outside company to review and streamline its finances.
Last year, Stein Mart locations began hosting lockers for Amazon order pickups in most of its stores, including all in Tampa Bay.
Stein Mart is the latest on a long list of retail companies that have filed for bankruptcy in 2020, including Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Pier 1, New York & Co., Brooks Brothers, J. Crew and Tuesday Morning.
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