Stein Mart juices 4Q marketing
November 17, 2005,
JACKSONVILLE , Fla. -- Stein Mart Inc. is amplifying its marketing efforts for this holiday season, adding a free-standing insert on Thanksgiving Day and broadening its distribution for a December circular, the retailer said during its third quarter earnings call today.
Despite losing almost $6 million in sales to a pair of hurricanes that shut down many of its stores, Stein Mart parlayed strict inventory controls and stronger margins into a $1.4 million third quarter profit, recovering from a year-before loss of $2 million.
Sales increased 1.8 percent to $336.5 million in spite of hurricane disruption which Stein Mart estimated cost it about $5.7 million in sales. Comps edged up 0.4 percent.
Providing a lift to the bottom line, average gross margin widened 1.6 percentage points, to 24.7 percent from 23.1 percent helped by improved mark-up and fewer markdowns, the company said. Merchandise stockpiles were cut 2.9 percent from year-ago levels, to $313.3 million from $322.7 million, yielding a savings of $9.3 million.