Stein Mart struggling as stock hits lowest prices in company history

Jacksonville-based retailer feeling pinch from online markets, expert says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville-based company Stein Mart is not doing well based on stock performance.

Stein Mart's stock price fell to less than a dollar a share last week for the first time in company history.

If the shares remain that low until March 9, the process will begin to possibly delist the stock from the NASDAQ index.

“The NASDAQ is going to put pressure on them to either get it above a dollar a share or not be on the exchange anymore,” said Adam Wolf, who owns Wolf Retirement Navigation. “It doesn’t mean it just goes away. It just means it moves to what they call an over-the-counter exchange.”

According to a statement from Stein Mart, having a stock price under $1 for 30 business days starts a six- to 12-month period during which the stock can avoid delisting if the price returns to $1 or more for 10 consecutive days. 

When the market closed Tuesday, Stein Mart’s stock was 62 cents a share, a reflection that the company is currently struggling.

Shoppers like Marie Letourneau might indicate why. She told News4Jax on Tuesday that she was shopping at the store for the first time in years.

“I don’t ever come here,” she said. “I don’t know anybody my age who even comes here.”

Stein Mart, which is headquartered in Jacksonville, operates 293 discount men's and women's department stores in 31 states. At least 750 employees work in Jacksonville. 

Wolf said if the company continues down its current path, he expects to see some employees laid off and some stores close. 

“Retailers are struggling right now because of the online retailers that are out there competing against the brick and mortar shops,” Wolf said.

But loyal shoppers like Virginia Leavitt could help turn things around.

“I love Stein Mart,” Leavitt said. “They just have styles and things that I like, and the prices are good.”

Stein Mart plans to release its fourth-quarter financial information on March 14 when the markets close. 

The company's statement released to News4Jax on Tuesday said:

“We are disappointed in the misleading reports that presuppose dire consequences for our company. Our over 11,000 associates, 750 of which are here in Jacksonville, are working hard for our customers and we are seeing many positive signs that our business is improving. ... We are continually working to position our company for long-term success and look forward to serving our loyal customers in Jacksonville and across the country for many years to come.”

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