Stein Mart files for bankruptcy and becomes the latest pandemic retail victim

Photo (c) Michael Rivera - Getty Images

The company says it will close most, if not all, of its stores

Another retailer is closing up shop due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Stein Mart announced that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing “a significant portion” of its stores as it seeks to reorganize its business.

As is typical with Chapter 11 filings, the company will continue to maintain its operations for now and meet financial responsibilities like paying employees, suppliers, and vendors. However, officials say they may sell the ecommerce branch of the company and any intellectual property during the course of its liquidation process.

“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business,” said CEO Hunt Hawkins. 

“The Company has determined that the best strategy to maximize value will be a liquidation of its assets pursuant to an organized going out of business sale. The Company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business. I would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and support.”

Stein Mart joins a growing list of retailers that have also filed for bankruptcy and closed stores over the last several months. This includes major names like JCPenney, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, GNC, and Chuck E. Cheese. Stein Mart was founded in 1902 and currently operates 281 stores in 30 states across the U.S. 

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