Stein Mart Snapped Up for $6 Million by Same Investors Who Bought Modell’s — Here Are Their Plans for the Retailer

Retail Ecommerce Ventures has snapped up another previously-bankrupt retailer.

The company, which acquired bankrupt Modell’s intellectual property in August, announced today that its majority-owned subsidiary, Stein Mart Online Inc., emerged as the winner of a bankruptcy court auction for the IP assets of Stein Mart Inc. The REV subsidiary’s $6.02 million bid was approved on Nov. 23 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division.

It acquired the Stein Mart nameplate as well as its private label brands, domain names, social media assets, and customer data from Hilco Streambank, an IP advisory firm that was marketing the assets.

REV, led by CEO Alex Mehr and president Tai Lopez, expects to re-launch the off-price family fashion and home goods retailer as an online-only store early next year.

“Our growing set of investors sees Stein Mart as another important addition to our increasing stable of venerable brick-and-mortar retail brands that we are bringing back-to-life as online destinations,” said Alex Mehr, CEO of Miami-based REV, in a statement. “With 281 stores in 30 states at the time of its bankruptcy filing in August, Stein Mart was a beloved destination for off-price shoppers in the Southeast, Texas, Arizona and California for more than 100 years.”

Fresh off its 2019 buyout of bankrupt Dressbarn’s IP assets, REV snapped up Pier 1’s intellectual property, data and various ecommerce-related assets for $31 million in July 2020. It has since relaunched both Dress Barn and Pier 1 as online-only businesses. It is also the owner of the previously bankrupt Radio Shack brand.

The company, which is only a year old, is quickly becoming a formidable player in the retail space, building a reputation for reinvigorating traditional brick-and-mortar mainstays as online-only names in an increasingly digital landscape. Its current stable of brands and products have collectively generated more than $1 billion in sales.

Lopez, in a statement touted Stein Mart’s early efforts to take the off-price brick and mortar retail concept online.  (Stein Mart is notably a years-long partner of footwear retailer DSW — now a subsidiary of parent company Designer Brands Inc. In 2006, DSW signed a deal to manage the shoe departments in nearly all Stein Mart’s stores; an expansion of an earlier agreement inked in 2002.)

“The company’s investments in an omnichannel platform for its offering of designer and private label fashion apparel, shoes, home décor and accessories paved the way for Steinmart.com to post double digit sales growth and increase its average online order to $80,” Lopez said of Stein Mart. “We look forward to building upon the solid foundation of existing Steinmart.com customers and introducing new loyalists to the brand by improving the online shopping experience, broadening the merchandise mix and deploying targeted social media marketing campaigns.”

Stein Mart, feeling the pressures of the macroeconomic fallout stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, filed for Chapter 11 protection in August with plans to close nearly 300 stores. It joined Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, JCPenney and several other retailers that filed for bankruptcy protection as the health crisis took hold in the United States.

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