Stein Mart relaunches gifts to lift home

Jacksonville, Fla. – Merchandising highlights over the past year at Stein Mart did not include home, which lagged after the retailer overhauled the department at the onset of 2006 in a failed attempt to attract new and younger customers with clean-lined contemporary fashions.

 

But that trend at the 268-unit promotional department store chain is poised for a 180-degree turn this new fiscal year, ceo and president Michael Fisher noted at yesterday’s annual shareholders meeting, with the reintroduction of the retailer’s popular gift assortment and the recent launch of the Nina by Nina Campbell designer linens program.

 

Julie Thomas Dinklage, who assumed the vp, gmm post for gifts and linens four months ago upon the departure of Kassie Jones, explained to HTT that Stein Mart has “re-done the floors” of the home department in five test stores – one in Orange Park, Fla., two in Atlanta and two in Charlotte, N.C. – to “bring back” its signature gift program.

 

The rollout to all units is expected to be completed by Aug. 1.

 

In home textiles, not the percent to sales but rather assortments are in flux, changing to appeal to the loyal Stein Mart customer base. The department will feature “more tasteful, more saleable looks,” Dinklage said. “We just have to do what we do best in a more specialized way.”

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