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Stein Mart files for bankruptcy. What that means for three Sacramento-area stores

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 8/13/2020 By Darrell Smith, The Sacramento Bee

Stein Mart became the latest retail casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday and announcing plans to close its nearly 300 stores by the end of the year.

Stein Mart has locations in Elk Grove, Folsom and Rocklin. The Jacksonville, Florida-based discount retailer “expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores,” officials said in a statement to investors on the company’s website.

“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant financial stress on our business,” Stein Mart CEO Hunt Hawkins said, adding the “best strategy to maximize value” will be to liquidate and conduct “an organized going out of business sale.”

That sale could begin Friday or Saturday, company spokeswoman Linda Tasseff told The Associated Press. Tasseff anticipated all stores will close by the fourth quarter of 2020. Closing dates will vary by store.

Stein Mart is also considering selling off its eCommerce business.

Stein Mart temporarily closed its stores in March in response to the pandemic, but reopened June 15 with limited hours. But the chain continued to struggle amid the ongoing COVID crisis. Still, Hawkins in late June told investors in a statement that “while these challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable.”

The discount apparel and home goods retailer operates 281 stores in 30 states including California.

Stein Mart officials in the statement said stores will continue to operate as normal in the near term, but said it had already launched a process to liquidate and close stores.

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©2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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