JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stein Mart, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMRT) today announced total sales and comparable store sales for the fiscal period(s) ended October 1, 2005, as follows (dollars in millions):
Total Sales Percent Change Fiscal Period: Total Comparable 2005 2004 Sales Store Sales September (5 weeks) $125.6 $128.7 (-2.4)% (-3.9)% Year to date (35 weeks) $941.4 $905.5 4.0% 2.4%
The best performing categories were ladies' career sportswear and intimate apparel. Social occasion separates were also strong. Geographically, comparable store sales were strongest in Florida and in the western part of the country.
The Company operated 261 stores on October 1, 2005 as compared to 258 stores at the same time last year.
Over the past five weeks, Hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia and Rita caused 41 Stein Mart stores in several states to either limit hours or close altogether for a total of 289 impacted store-days. Although all but three Stein Mart stores (two in New Orleans, one in Lake Charles, LA) are back in operation, four stores in New Orleans were closed for nearly one month after Hurricane Katrina and two more stores (in Beaumont, TX, and Lake Charles, LA) were closed for more than a week after Hurricane Rita. Management estimates $3.5 million in sales was lost during the month of September due to stores that were closed for at least one day. The Company does expect to receive insurance compensation for the most severely damaged stores and stores that were closed for numerous days.
"The hurricane activity which began in late August substantially disrupted our September business, but we are grateful that our associates are accounted for and that most of our stores reopened soon after essential services were restored," noted Michael D. Fisher, president and chief executive officer of Stein Mart. "Although we were disappointed with sales across the country during September, our customers are responding favorably to the new fall merchandise and we believe our assortment is on trend for the season."
Management now anticipates comparable store sales for the third quarter to be flat to last year, which would produce earnings of $0.00-$0.02 per share as compared to last year's loss of $(0.05) per share.
Quarter-end News Release Date
Full financial results for the Company's third quarter ending October 29, 2005 will be released prior to the opening of the financial markets on Thursday, November 17, 2005.
Company purchases markdown optimization software
Stein Mart has entered into an agreement with Oracle Retail to utilize its retail price optimization software (formerly known as ProfitLogic) to enhance markdown decision-making throughout the store network. This decision complements Stein Mart's ongoing commitment to the freshest inventory possible by increasing the timeliness, predictability and efficiency of markdown decisions. Stein Mart will also work with Oracle Retail to implement a regional pricing strategy to better understand customer demand of individual items, by location.
About Stein Mart
Stein Mart stores offer the fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a better department or specialty store, at prices competitive with off- price retail chains. Currently with locations from California to New York, Stein Mart's focused assortment of merchandise features moderate to designer brand-name apparel for women, men and young children, as well as accessories, gifts, linens and shoes.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT>>>>>>>Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release may be forward-looking, and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied will not be realized. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Stein Mart's actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted or expected results. Those risks include, without limitation, on-going competition from other retailers, availability of new store sites at acceptable lease terms, ability to successfully implement strategies to exit or improve under-performing stores, changing preferences in apparel, changes in consumer spending due to current events and/or general economic conditions, the effectiveness of new advertising, marketing and promotional strategies, adequate sources of merchandise at acceptable prices, disruption of the Company's distribution system, and unanticipated weather conditions and unseasonable weather, the Company's ability to attract and retain qualified employees to support planned growth, and the other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Additional information about Stein Mart, Inc. can be found at http://www.steinmart.com .
SOURCE: Stein Mart, Inc.
CONTACT: Susan Datz Edelman, Director, Stockholder Relations, Stein Mart, +1-904-346-1506, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.steinmart.com