In the Know: 4 Southwest Florida locations part of 112-year-old Stein Mart's closings
Four local Stein Marts are part of the national closings announced Wednesday by the 112-year-old retailer, which has gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
"All stores will stay open during the Chapter 11 process until such time that merchandise is completely liquidated," Linda L. Tasseff, director of external communications and investor relations, told the Naples Daily News. "We expect this process to be completed during the fourth quarter, and stores will be closed on a staggered basis."
The outposts in Southwest Florida include Naples Pelican Bay, 8811 Tamiami Trail; Naples Tamiami Crossing, 13100 Tamiami Trail E.; Fort Myers Cypress Trace, 13300 S. Cleveland Ave.; and Bonita Springs Prado at Spring Creek, 25191 Chamber Of Commerce, which had been severely damaged by Hurricane Irma and reopened in late 2017.
"We have filed a motion seeking court approval to begin an orderly wind down of our operations as soon as reasonably possible," CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a statement to Laura Layden of the Daily News. "Due to the combination of a challenging retail environment and the impact of COVID-19, we and our advisors determined that we will wind down the business. Please know that this was an extremely difficult decision, and is deeply disappointing for all of us at Stein Mart. We have loved serving our communities over the years and are so grateful to our loyal customers who chose to shop our stores."
The going out of business sale is expected to begin Friday or Saturday. It filed Chapter 11 reorganization as it evaluates the potential sale of its eCommerce business and related intellectual property.
Founded in 1908 in Mississippi, the now Jacksonville-based company operates 281 stores in 30 states, with 9,000 employees.
It's the latest in a long list of businesses to file for bankruptcy protection and close locations in Southwest Florida and throughout America.
Department stores and apparel retailers have been grappling with declining foot traffic for years but the impact of the pandemic has led many retailers to accelerate store closings and bankruptcy filings.
A Coresight Research study has found that as many as 25,000 stores could shutter this year as businesses continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic.
Since May, Ascena Retail Group, parent company of Justice, Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, RTW Retailwinds, Lucky Brand, JCPenney, Brooks Brothers, Sur La Table, Neiman Marcus, Tuesday Morning, Tailored Brands, GNC, Lord + Taylor and J. Crew have all filed for Chapter 11, according to USA Today.
In the past two weeks alone, In the Know has reported on 16 local closings of chain stores including Izod and Van Heusen outlets and G.H. Bass shoes and New York & Company, which started as Lerner Shops more than a century ago. It had debuted at the Edison Mall in 1965 and now is leaving.
Every local shopping center has been affected in some way in recent times including Coastland Center, Miromar Outlets, Sanibel Outlets, Naples Coastal Shoppes and Coconut Point.
Based at the Naples Daily News, Columnist Phil Fernandez (email@example.com) writes In the Know as part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Support Democracy and subscribe to a newspaper.