Stein Mart to open in Falls Church Loehmann’s space

Stein Mart Inc. has its eye on the D.C. region: the Florida-based department store will bring its second new location to Northern Virginia this year.

Stein Mart (NASDAQ: SMRT) will take over the former Loehmann’s space at 7271 Arlington Blvd. in Falls Church. The store will open May 15, according to Linda Tasseff, Stein Mart’s director of investor relations.

It will be the company’s third in the D.C. region; two others are currently in Leesburg and Chantilly. A fourth store, at Virginia Gateway in Gainesville, is expected to open in early October, as the company announced last week.

The 260-store Stein Mart will open 10 new locations this year, and the Washington region has been on Stein Mart’s radar for some time, Tasseff said.

“We’re definitely trying to gain more of a foothold in the Washington area,” she said. “The demographic of the Washington area suburbs is so much like our customer.”

Stein Mart used to have a store in the Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights — the second-floor space is now Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurants Range and Aggio. It doesn’t currently have any stores in the District or Maryland, but the company is always looking, Tasseff said.

The department store company looks for spaces in “B+ or A- shopping centers where our customer lives and shops,” Tasseff said. Those usually includes other retailers, upscale grocers and restaurants.

“When you combine all the things on our wish list, in some markets, it’s just harder to find, and Washington D.C. is one of them,” she said.

The closure of Loehmann’s provided them that opportunity in Falls Church, and in another market where the real estate market is very tight: Miami. A new Stein Mart will open in a former Loehmann’s space in Aventura, Fla. on May 15.


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