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Stein Mart hits another homerun in home

Jacksonville, Fla. – The home business continued on its two-year streak, performing as Stein Mart’s strongest category again in the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2013.

Aiding home most recently was the debut of its designer collection with Nina Campbell across several segments of home, including bedding, Stein Mart noted.

Another plus in the company’s quarter was the re-launch of its e-commerce site with expanded capabilities.

Still, the quarter was not without its challenges, much of them brought on by the same harsh weather conditions that also dampened many other retailers’ period results.

Net income for the 13-week period, ended February 1, dove 45% to $7.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted share.

Quarterly total sales fell 2.0% to $360.8 million compared to $368.6 million in the 14-week fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013. Stein Mart noted that last year's total sales include $15.8 million for the 53 rd week.

Comparable store sales increased 3.1% for the quarter.

For fiscal 2013, net income rose 2.4% to $25.6 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.

Total sales for the 52 weeks were up 2.4% to $1.26 billion. Comparable store sales increased 3.7% for the year.

Jay Stein, ceo, said the company improved its business in 2013 via a number of key initiatives that included, “enhancing our merchandise and brands, launching our online store, more effective marketing, taking our supply chain distribution centers in-house and growing our credit card program."

This new fiscal year, the plan is to “continue to build upon these achievements, while initiating our most aggressive store opening plan in more than 10 years with 16 new and relocated stores, to even better serve our customers and grow returns for our investors."

Current plans call for the opening of 10 stores, relocation of six stores to better locations in their respective markets, and close two stores.

Three stores will open this spring - one in March and two in May; and seven stores will open this fall - six in October and one in November.

The two closings were completed in February.

Among these real estate plans are store openings in two new markets this May – Miami, Fla., and Washington D.C.

“We are very excited about our 16 new Stein Marts, and we are particularly excited about the new Miami and D.C. stores,” Stein said. “Having a store in the Miami area has been a dream of ours for years. I recently saw this store, and it is going to be spectacular.”

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