Stein Mart's Q2 profit soars; company to launch ecommerce in fall

Retail Editor 4, Becky Smith, August 22, 2013

Jacksonville, Fla. - The spring/summer season cast sunshine over Stein Mart, brightening net income by double digits and warming sales and comps during the second quarter.

Net income jumped 48% to $3.4 million, or 8 cents per share, over the 13-week period. Sales increased 3.8% to $291.0 million, while comparable store sales grew 6.4%.

Home, above all, "continues to out-perform the company," noted ceo Jay Stein. The segment generated positive results in all of its segments, led by top of bed and sheets.

"(O)ur house is very much in order," Stein said during the off-price mid-tier department store chain's earnings call this morning.

For the first six months, net income rose 38% to $18.1 million, or 41 cents per share. Sales rose 3.8% to $612.3 million, while comps were up 3.6%.

Stein Mart is now focused on the upcoming launch of its new e-commerce business, which has been two years in the making and is set to debut "in the next few weeks." It will be stocked with a "significant selection" of Stein Mart stores' mix as well as some items exclusive to the site.

The company ended the second quarter with 262 stores, and plans to open four new units, relocate two and close two stores by yearend.

"As we begin our third quarter, we now believe that our gross margin rate will continue to be better than last year and that our expense structure will allow much of our higher gross margin dollars to drop to our bottom line," said Stein.

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