Monday, February 8, 2021

Stein Mart Liquidation - Viera (Melbourne), FL


Stein Mart always seemed like a chain out of time. Not in the sense of *running out of* time, though that did happen in the end, but in the sense they seemed outside of time. A department store, largely regional, in an age extremely unkind to both.

Of course, this also means the writing was on the wall for Stein Mart for many years. They suffered some of the same issues that New York & Company (aka Lerner) suffered: they had a stereotype as an old lady brand. Young people didn't go to Stein Mart, and unfortunately the younger demographic is the one that tends to keep retailers afloat.

Reflective of it's location, Viera's Stein Mart is a relatively new build; opening shortly after the rest of the Post Commons Shopping Center in early 2001.

I visited fairly early in the liquidation, so stock was high and discounts low. Though with some stores, discounts don't end up straying much farther from this...

Some general shots of the merchandise, still very well stocked at this time. It's easy to see how this store got it's reputation- I'm no fashion guru, but not much of this looks like current fashions. And the mugs and other stuff next to it screams Bath & Body Works and Pier 1 rejects.

This "HOME" sign caught my eye, since it's weirdly out of the way, tucked in an alcove over a non-customer use door.

With paltry 10% discounts on most merchandise, it's unsurprising that not much has moved. I'm not sure how deep the discounts got towards the end though, as I was never able to make it back for a second photo set.

10% off typical prices is a steal... for the seller, anyways. I'd imagine most of this was more than 10% off when the store was fully open, knowing the sales that they're known for.

I'll end this post with a photo I took of this store's odd "cart" setup. Much like similar shopping center department stores like Kohl's, this Stein Mart didn't really have traditional shopping carts, opting instead for these sort of "frames" you can drop baskets into. It's a bit of an odd set up for a clothing store, and I think it's more fitting for low-volume space-cramped places like a convenience store, small grocery store, etc. Not a big box like this.

Anyways, with that, until next time, this has been Cape Kennedy Retail.


  1. I always hated Stein Mart's carts... even the things Kohl's uses are better. But it's probably something that had a long history within the chain and thus continued to be added, even to new stores. Stein Mart has always struck me as a very tradition-focused company.

  2. It's good to see some coverage of Stein Mart here on MFR. I know they were founded in Mississippi, and I believe Retail Retell has a post about a location of somewhat historic relevance to the chain, but I also believe they were based out of Florida towards the end of the chain's existence and so it;s interesting to look at a Florida Stein Mart.

    This store really does not look all that different from the two Stein Marts close to me that I shopped at here in Houston. One was in a former subdivided Wilson's/Service Merchandise and had decor similar to the Viera location. The other was in a former Safeway/AppleTree/Randall's/HEB Pantry Foods location. Although it may appear that location was a retail graveyard given all those supermarkets which didn't last long at all in that spot, the location had good access and was near fairly wealthy neighborhoods and so that Stein Mart stuck around longer than any of the supermarkets did in that spot. That location had slightly different department signage than the Viera store, but otherwise it looks similar:

    Out of all the closeout clothing store chains out there, Stein Mart was my favorite. That said, I suppose I can't argue any of your points about Stein Mart having a reputation for being an old person's store, lol. While old person's clothing might not be exciting, they did have a lot of clothing which would be appropriate to wear at work. I can't say that of many other clothing stores which try to be hip.

    One nice thing about Stein Mart is that they usually had a very large selection of golf shirts. The golf shirts were usually in a variety of bright, pastel-like colors. I liked those, but unfortunately it was hard for me to find common sizes (Medium and Large) because it seemed like they usually had an abundance of XL, XXL, and other more oddball sizes. Oh well, such is the problem with shopping at closeout type stores I suppose. Stein Mart was a pretty good place to shop for things like belts and ties.

    Another thing I liked about Stein Mart as compared to other similar type clothing stores is that Stein Mart kept their stores looking pretty nice. I know the Stein Mart Retail Retell is going to feature on his blog had some retro elements to it, but otherwise I would describe the Stein Mart decor as being soothing and unexciting. I suppose that only helped the old person's store feel, lol, but the beige paint on the walls, the carpet, and the tiles on the Stein Mart floors all looked a bit more upscale than what one would expect at a discount store. The atmosphere and organization was way better than what one would find at a Burlington, Ross, or even a Macy's these days in many cases given their cost-cutting.

    You know, I never even noticed that Stein Mart had carts. Maybe they didn't even have them here, but the carts in the blog post do look very strange. Then again, the presence of carts of any kind in a clothing store seems odd to me! I certainly remember the times back in the era of years starting with a '1' when clothing stores did not have carts or baskets! Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm starting to sound like someone who shopped at Stein Mart, lol.

  3. I believe the former Stein Mart in Colonial Marketplace is slated to become another Sprouts Market.

  4. I wish someone would go to Publix #172 in Naples because it possibly still has Classy Market 1.0 even after all these years. AFB can't go cause (he/she) claims it's too far. It seems that everyone thinks Naples is far (TBH it really is). If anyone is willing to go to Naples, include this store, also #453 has a special 90's store format that only exists in Georgia stores beside this one and it's in Naples too. (I hope someone goes to 172 before a remodel, if it ever remodels)