Stein Mart Inc. has widened its third quarter loss.

The retailer said the net loss for the quarter ended Oct. 28 rose to $14.6 million, or 31 cents a diluted share, from a net loss of $11.0 million, or 24 cents, a year ago. Net sales slipped 4.7 percent to $285.4 million from $299.5 million, on a comparable-store sales decline of 6.9 percent. The company said average store inventories were 20 percent lower than a year ago.

Hunt Hawkins, chief executive officer, said, “We ended the quarter well with comparable store sales improving to flat for the month of October, with slightly positive traffic. This is a reflection of the progress we have made on our sales-driving initiatives.”

Hawkins said lower inventory levels have helped with “better merchandise margins from increased regular-priced selling and lower markdowns.” He also said that the company has “moved past the disruptions of hurricanes Harvey and Irma” and now expects the progress it is making with the business to become more apparent in the fourth quarter.

The ceo emphasized, “As we continue to operate with lean inventories and reduced spending, our borrowings will be even lower by the end of the year.”

The company operated 293 stores at the end of the third quarter.

Shares of Stein Mart were up 6.9 percent to close at $1.09 in Nasdaq trading. The company posted third-quarter results after the markets closed.

 

 

 

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