Stein Mart CEO Resigns
Stein Mart CEO Dawn Robertson has resigned, effective immediately, after just six months in the job. Robertson was also a director for the company and acted as chief merchandising officer. D. Hunt Hawkins, Stein Mart's current president and chief operating officer, has been named interim CEO. The company will initiate a search for a new chief merchandising officer. Robertson was appointed CEO of Stein Mart in March 2016. She succeeded Jay Stein, the company’s founder and long-standing CEO, who remains chairman. Prior to joining Stein Mart, Robertson was the chief executive or president of several other retail companies, including UNKNWN, Deb Shops, Nygard International and The Avenue.
Total Retail's Take: While Stein Mart, which operates 282 stores, gave no reason for Robertson’s abrupt exit, the company's slumping sales likely played a significant role in the decision. Same-store sales were down 4 percent in the third quarter, and, in a company statement, Hawkins stated: “We believe that several of the new merchandising strategies that have been developed this year will positively impact our future sales. However, implementation has been too rapid and has been challenging for our customers. It's important that we remain focused on meeting the needs of our existing customers as we drive change." It will be interesting to see where Robertson goes from here, and who will replace her at Stein Mart.