Discount department store Stein Mart files for bankruptcy, may close all 281 stores

The changing retail landscape and coronavirus pandemic contributed to the decision, chief executive says

Discount department store Stein Mart revealed Wednesday that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying it plans to close a "significant portion, if not all" of its 281 stores nationwide.

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Both the changing retail landscape and coronavirus pandemic contributed to the decision to liquidate, Stein Mart CEO and CFO Hunt Hawkins 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," Hawkins said. "The Company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business. I would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and support.”

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With the expected closures in view, Stein Mart said it will continue operating in the near term. Stein Mart may sell its ecommerce business.

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Stein Mart has locations in 30 states and is based in Jacksonville, Fla.

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