Stein Mart names new CEO

Stein Mart (NASDAQ:SMRT) has named Dawn Robertson as the new CEO, succeeding the company's founder and longstanding CEO Jay Stein, who will remain as chairman.

Robertson will also have responsibilities of chief merchant for the foreseeable future, according to a company statement.

Robertson has previously served as CEO or president of several retail companies, including Unknwn, Deb Shops, Nygard International and The Avenue. She has also held various executive positions at Old Navy, Myer Stores, Federated Department Stores, Saks and May Department Stores.

Stein Mart plans to open at least 12 new stores this year and close one. Last year, the company opened 10 new stores, closed two and relocated one.

Fourth quarter sales increased 1.8 percent to $394.1 million, while comparable store sales decreased 1.1 percent. Income from the quarter declined to $6.3 million from $12.3 million in 2014.

Growth strategies for the retailer include a focus on private label. The chain's Peck & Peck brand has been carried in 200 of its 283 stores and will be added in 50 additional units this year. Active, leisure and athletic apparel will be a focus in both men's and women's departments.

Stein Mart is also expanding and adding assortment from national brands including Nine West, Tahari, Nanette Lepore and Catherine Malandrino, said Greg Kleffner, exec-VP and CFO, during a conference call with analysts.

For more:
-See this Stein Mart conference call transcript
-See this Stein Mart press release

Related stories:
Stein Mart to open 10 new stores, including 2 former Loehmann's sites
Loehmann's assets, leases sold at auction
Why T.J. Maxx, Marshalls thrive as Loehmann's goes bankrupt
Loehmann's files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Year-old grocery chain Belle Foods files for bankruptcy

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