NEW YORK — Stein Mart Inc. will unveil a trimmer store concept this fall under the Collections of Stein Mart banner.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based retailer disclosed plans as they reported that disappointing sales pushed earnings down 9 percent to $2.8 million from $3 million a year ago. In both periods, earnings per share were 7 cents. Sales for the period ended Aug. 3 advanced 6.8 percent, to $311.4 million from $291.5 million a year ago, as comparable-store revenues slid 2.3 percent.
So far this year, the 263-unit chain has opened 13 new doors and plans for three more this fall, one of which will be a Collections of Stein Mart prototype store in the Rolling Hills Estates section of Palos Verdes, Calif.
Featuring selections from the firm’s boutique, women’s sportswear and accessories, men’s sportswear and shoes as well as some gift and home decor offerings, the collections concepts will weigh in at about 15,000 square feet.
"With a more tightly focused assortment, we can enter resort and premium real estate areas that may not have been able to accommodate our typical 36,000-square-foot store," said chief executive Jack Williams in a statement.
A spokeswoman added that Stein Mart plans to have three to five of the locations up and running by mid 2003. The firm didn’t project the effect of the new concept on sales or earnings. "This is a test situation, so we really want to get a few of them under our belt before we can say how many we can get out there," she said.
Commenting on Stein Mart’s earnings and outlook, Williams said: "Our productivity initiatives of inventory management and expense control helped offset second quarter’s disappointing sales. Merchandise inventories remain below last year’s levels on an average store basis; continued inventory control and correspondingly lower markdowns should produce improved gross profit in the second half."
"Across-the-board" strength in August has helped comps trend ahead of plan and turn "slightly positive" for the month, the spokeswoman told WWD. In July, the firm posted a 7.8 percent same-store sales decline.
Gross margins for the quarter shifted up 40 basis points to 25.1 percent of sales. However, selling, general and administrative expenses increased 80 basis points to 24.5 percent of sales.During the half, earnings jumped 16.1 percent to $14.1 million, or 34 cents a diluted share. This compared with year-ago profits of $12.2 million, or 29 cents. Revenues for the six months were up 9.7 percent to $667.4 million from $608.5 million a year ago, as comps dipped 0.6 percent.
The firm is looking for losses of 5 cents a share in the third quarter and earnings of 35 cents in the fourth, resulting in EPS of about 65 cents for the year. A 3 percent comp increase is expected in both the third and fourth quarters.
Separately on Tuesday, Equity One announced that Stein Mart had leased a 41,000-square-foot store at the Oakbrook Square shopping center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The site had previously been occupied by Jacobson’s Stores Inc. which, as reported, is in the process of liquidating.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast