Stein Mart, the off-price retailer based in Jacksonville, FL, filed for bankruptcy protection amid the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer plans to close “a significant portion, if not all, of its brick & mortar stores.”

As a result, Stein Mart has launched a store closing and liquidation process; however, it will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course in the near term.

The company is evaluating any and all strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of its e-commerce business and related intellectual property.

Hunt Hawkins, chief executive officer of Stein Mart, said, “The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business. The company has determined that the best strategy to maximize value will be a liquidation of its assets pursuant to an organized going out of business sale. The company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business. I would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and support.”

The company’s restructuring counsel is Foley & Lardner LLP, its restructuring advisor is Clear Thinking Group LLC and its investment banker is PJ Solomon.

The company has filed customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court that will authorize, upon Bankruptcy Court approval, the company’s ability to maintain operations in the ordinary course of business, including, among other things, the payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption, payment of suppliers and vendors in the normal course of business, and the use of cash collateral. These motions are typical in the Chapter 11 process and the company anticipates that they will be approved shortly after the commencement of its Chapter 11 case.

The company operates 281 stores across 30 states.

Photo courtesy Stein Mart