There will soon be more vacant retail space at West Towne Mall.

Stein Mart, a boutique-style men's and women's department store chain that opened in 2016, is closing its store next to OfficeMax.

A clearance sale is underway at the store which is in the same row of retailers as Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy and Kohl's.

Stein Mart, based in Jacksonville, Florida, has 260 stores in 29 states but its only stores in Wisconsin are in Madison and Brookfield. The company has been closing stores while its stock price has plunged to below $1 a share after being just over $16 a share in 2014.

Sales in the fourth quarter were $44.1 million less than than previous fourth quarter. For 2019, the company said it was not planning on opening any new stores and has plans to close four stores during the first half of this year.

"Fourth quarter results reflect holiday sales that were below our expectations, with traffic impacted by changes we made to our holiday marketing strategy,” said Hunt Hawkins, the company's CEO. “Despite our lower sales, operating results for fiscal 2018 were significantly better than last year due to our continued focus on inventory productivity, which drove our higher gross profit rate, and strong expense control.”

The Madison Stein Mart location is in a spot previously held by a Savers Thrift Store but the pending vacancy is another blow to the West Towne property. The 85,000-square-foot Shopko store is scheduled to close April 22 while other vacancies include the 55,000-square-foot building that was the longtime home to a Toys R Us, the 140,000-square-foot former Boston Store space, the 50,000-square-foot former Sears space plus the vacant space that had been home to Granite City, a brewpub and restaurant on the mall's east side.

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Send retail-related tips and story ideas to or call Barry Adams at 608-252-6148.