Stein Mart has appointed Dawn Robertson as its new CEO, who is expected to bring a "fresh focus" to the off-price fashion retail group and its merchandising division.

Robertson, who will also have the responsibilities of chief merchant for the foreseeable future, succeeds the company's founder and long standing CEO, Jay Stein, who will remain chairman of the board.

"With her leadership and industry knowledge, she will help us build on our growth initiatives and bring a fresh focus to our company and merchandising organisation that will benefit us immensely," said Stein.

Over the past decade, Robertson has served as the CEO or president of several retail companies, including UNKNWN, Deb Shops, Nygard International and The Avenue. She has also held various executive positions at Old Navy, Myer Stores, Federated Department Stores, Saks and May Department Stores.

Earlier this month, the Stein Mart reported a 48.8% decline in fourth-quarter net profit, weighed down by higher markdowns during the holiday season. Net income amounted to US$6.3m during the period, down from $12.3m last year. Sales, however, climbed 1.8% to $394.1m from $387m a year ago.

US Q4 in brief: Black Diamond, Citi Trends, The Buckle, Genesco