Home gives Stein Mart a second-quarter boost

Jacksonville, Fla. -- The home category led Stein Mart's second quarter, with linens performing the best and home décor also buoying business.

"Soft home has been tremendous," said Jay Stein, interim ceo, during the 263-unit chain's earnings call this morning. "The numbers that we've seen in soft home are just clearly way beyond our expectations."

Also strong within home during the second quarter was the tabletop, including summer entertaining.

Stein said the department has seen "a really good resurgence," generating positive comps in the first and second quarters, as well as at least one quarter in 2011 - although he said he could not recall in which period exactly.

Even so, Stein Mart is still on a road to recovery.

For the quarter, ended July 28, net income sank 44.5% to $730,000, or 2 cents per share. Sales were up 2.3% to $276.4 million, with comps up 1.6%.
For the first six months period, net income dropped 27% to $12.6 million, or 29 cents per share. Sales inched up 1.1% to $579.8 million, with comps up 0.5%.

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