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Stein Mart special sizes sales trend improves
Jan '08
Stein Mart Inc reported total sales and comparable store sales for the fiscal period(s) ended January 5, 2008.

As a reminder, the 53rd week in fiscal 2006 created a timing shift in the 4-5-4 calendar for fiscal 2007, creating a one-week difference between Stein Mart's fiscal reporting periods and comparable store sales reporting periods.

The table below shows total sales for each period ending January 5, 2008 as compared to the respective period ending December 30, 2006, while comparable store sales measures each period ending January 5, 2008 against the respective period ending January 6, 2007.

During December, only special sizes (women's & petite apparel) improved its sales trend over last year, although ladies' career, Boutique, intimate apparel and accessories were better than the overall Company trend for the month. Geographically, the Company's stores located in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-South outperformed the Company average.

On January 5, 2008 there were 280 stores in operation as compared to 268 stores at the same time last year.

"Sales declined as expected until Christmas," noted Linda M. Farthing, president and chief executive officer of Stein Mart Inc.

"Post-Christmas sales, driven by heavier markdowns, were positive, helping to offset the earlier double digit declines and produced a 5.7 percent decrease in comparable store sales for the month of December."

Updated guidance:
Because of the Fall '07sales shortfall and in anticipation of continued difficulty in the retailing environment, management has accelerated the Company's markdown plans by taking a greater number of markdowns at deeper discounts to clear seasonal inventory.

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