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Waites to create extensive home line for Stein Mart

Jacksonville, FL — Stein Mart has announced that designer Raymond Waites will create an entire collection of bedding, lamps, ceramics, wall art, bath linens and other accessories for its home department.

"After several terrific years, our home area has struggled some during the first half of this year, and we believe this addition will be important as we head into the holiday season," said Gwen Manto, vice chairman and chief merchandising officer, during the company's second quarter conference call.

In addition, the retailer also said that it has ended the use of percentage-off coupons as of the last weekend in July. It had distributed them in newspaper inserts and direct mail pieces. Used to attract customers during a difficult environment, that strategy has now run its course, executives said. Instead, it is preparing for a new advertising campaign, including newspaper inserts, direct mail, radio, and, starting with six test markets next month, television advertising.

"Eliminating coupons will hurt our comps for the next couple of months," Michael Fisher, president and ceo, said. However, "re-deploying these markdown dollars into more strategic inventory management is a better and more effective strategy for a format such as ours...Despite short-term pain we believe the time is right to make this move."

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