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Stein Mart recordsdata for chapter and plans to shut most if not all of its shops

A Stein Mart store in King of Prussia, PA.

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Off-price chain Stein Mart announced Wednesday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to permanently close most, if not all of its stores, adding to the turmoil in a retail industry ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic contributes.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company announced in a press release that it has already initiated liquidation proceedings to put the sale out of business. The company is currently exploring alternatives, including the potential sale of its e-commerce activities and intellectual property.

"The combined impact of a challenging retail environment combined with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has placed a significant financial burden on our business," Hunt Hawkins CEO said in a statement. "The company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue working in the normal course of business."

Stein Mart operates 281 stores in 30 US states, according to its website.

More than 40 retailers filed for bankruptcy in 2020, including the home goods chain Pier 1 Imports, department store operators Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney and the clothing brands J.Crew, Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor, owners of the Ascena Retail Group. Analysts believe this list will continue to grow over the Christmas season as companies that struggled before the Covid-19 crisis will be pushed over the edge.

Stein Mart enlisted Foley & Larder as restructuring advisor, Clear Thinking Group as restructuring advisor, and PJ Solomon as investment banker.

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