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Stein Mart Snags Two Loehmann’s Sites in 10-Store Expansion

Stein Mart Inc., the discount apparel and accessories chain, will open 10 stores this year, including two in locations previously occupied by bankrupt retailer Loehmann’s Holdings Inc.

Stein Mart, which sells designer brands at discount prices, will open at the former Loehmann’s branches in Miami and Washington on May 15. The 10 new sites bring the total store count to more than 270, Jacksonville, Florida-based Stein Mart said today in a statement.

The Loehmann’s locations’ “demographics are in the sweet spot of our customer base,” Jay Stein, chairman and chief executive officer of Stein Mart, said in a phone interview. “Miami and the suburbs of Washington -- you couldn’t pick two better cities to operate in.”

Stein, who resumed the CEO job on a permanent basis in 2013 after stepping down in 2001, is expanding the store count following seven straight quarters of revenue gains. Stein said the retailer, located mainly in outdoor shopping centers and strip malls, also is expanding its collection of home goods. Sales at stores open at least a year increased 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter, Stein Mart said in a statement Feb. 6

Stein Mart rose 1.5 percent to $13.09 at the close of trading in New York. The shares have advanced 60 percent in the past year, outpacing the 35 percent gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Retailing Index.

Loehmann’s, controlled by Whippoorwill Associates Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a third time on Dec. 15.

Loehmann’s, the New York-based seller of discounted designer goods, won court approval Jan. 7 to sell its inventory and intellectual property for an estimated $16.4 million. There will be another $6.35 million by giving Madison Capital Holdings LLC the right to sell store leases. Esopus Creek Advisors LLC bought trademarks, websites and other intellectual property for $850,000.

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