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Stein Mart returning to EDLP

Jacksonville, Fla. --- Stein Mart's net earnings dropped more than 50% for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011, the company reported today.

Net income for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 dropped 69.7% to $5.7 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with $18.8 million, or 42 cents per diluted share during the same period in 2011. For the year, net income was $19.8 million or 44 cents per diluted share compared to net income of $48.8 million or $1.08 per diluted share in 2010.

During this morning's earnings conference call, Greg Kleffner, chief financial officer, said that home was a weaker performing category this quarter but the retailer is "excited about new home product arriving this spring."

Sales results drove our fourth quarter and full year bottom line lower than last year. While we were disappointed, we are determined to return to the everyday low prices that built this company," said Jay Stein, interim chief executive officer .

Stein added that the retailer's reliance on coupons will soon become a thing of the past. Stein noted that the couponing had "[gotten] out of hand" in the last 18 months and the retailer would be scaling it back by 50% and focusing on everyday low pricing.

Stein also shared that the search for a ceo is ongoing and he has been active in vetting and interviewing potential candidates.

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