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Stein Mart looks to better times in 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Stein Mart attributed its improving performance to a television ad campaign launched last year, its partnership with home designer Raymond Waites, the elimination of some promotional initiatives and cleaner inventories.

"We made some tough decisions in mid-2003, and as expected we paid a heavy price for them in year-over-year results," said Michael Fisher, president and CEO, during the retailer's fourth quarter conference call last week. "2003 is behind us. And while we are glad that it is, we are encouraged by a number of signs that began to appear toward the end of the year."

He added that the spring season to date "is far greatly advantaged over last year."

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