Stein Mart, the bankrupt discount department store, is being given a second life by the same company that recently purchased Pier 1 Imports.
Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), an investment firm that buys beleaguered brands and relaunches them online, announced Wednesday it bought the intellectual property of Stein Mart for $6 million. It's the latest struggling brand that REV has purchased, joining Pier 1, Modell's Sporting Goods and, most recently, RadioShack.
Stein Mart filed for bankruptcy in August and permanently closed its roughly 300 brick-and-mortar stores. The company, like other retailers, cited the pandemic for its financial distress and ultimate collapse.
In the agreement, REV receives Stein Mart's private-label brands, domain name and customer data. REV will use those assets to launch an online-only store in early 2021.
The firm is co-owned by social media influencer Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr, the co-founder of online dating website Zoosk. Lopez said Stein Mart was an attractive purchase because of its devoted customer base and improving e-commerce sales prior to its bankruptcy.
"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," Lopez said in a statement.
Discount retailers, such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, have been thriving recently. TJX, which owns HomeGoods, announced last month it's launching an online store next year.
REV invests in so-called zombie brands that it believes can be revived online. It bought Dressbarn's brand last year from Ascena Retail Group and says it has turned it into a successful online business. The company is using the same framework to return Pier 1 and RadioShack to their former glory with similar relaunch plans.