Stein Mart, Inc reported sales of $138.6 for the five weeks of March, down 14.7%, compared to sales of $162.5 million for the same period a year ago. Same store sales declined 17.1%.
The company said results were affected by calendar changes and urged investors to wait until it reports April figures before drawing conclusions.
Fiscal year-to-date, revenues were off 12% on a 14.5% decline in same store sales.
During March, the better performing categories were ladies' status casual and fashion accessories.
Geographically, comparable stores sales trends were negative in all regions of the country, with Northern tier stores performing somewhat better than those in the South and West.
“Our March sales were negatively impacted by the move of a major promotional event from March last year to April this year, and of course, the loss of a selling day due to the earlier Easter,” noted Linda M. Farthing, president and chief executive officer of Stein Mart, Inc. “It will be particularly important this year to consider the sales results of March and April together to get a true picture of our spring selling season.”
At April 5, 2008, there were 281 stores in operation as compared to 270 at the same time last year.