JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Discount retailer Stein Mart Inc. said Thursday its same-store sales fell 9.9 percent in August due to two storms in the Southeast and slow sales of gifts, linens and special occasion clothing. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.
The company also said Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gustav lowered sales in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Total sales for the four-week period ended Aug. 30 fell 6.2 percent to $86.8 million from $92.5 million a year earlier. The company said men's furnishings and accessories, ladies' special sizes, career tops and modern casual areas performed better than other categories.