Citi Trends names new CEO
Citi Trends Inc. has named a new CEO on the same day the company reported impressive same store sales growth.
Acting CEO Bruce Smith will become permanent Chief Executive Officer and has been appointed to the Board of Directors, the company said.
The Georgia-based retailer also reported a same store sales increase of 5.6% in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3. Total sales increased 14.4% to $212.1 million compared with $185.5 million in the 13-week quarter. Net income was $5.2 million, or $6.9 million when adjusted for the effect of the enactment of the Tax Act.
“Fourth quarter sales and earnings continued to build on the broad-based strength in all five of our major merchandise categories that we saw in the first three quarters of the year. The highlight of the quarter was a 5.6% comparable store sales increase, particularly since it was on top of a 3.4% increase in last year’s fourth quarter. In addition, expenses were very well-controlled and inventory turns continued to improve. As we have entered fiscal 2018, comparable store sales are up 3% through yesterday,” Smith said.
Citi Trends opened 20 new stores, relocated or expanded 10 other stores, and closed four stores in fiscal 2017.
Smith has been serving as acting CEO since March 2017, when the previous CEO resigned, while the Board conducted a search for a permanent CEO. Smith has been with Citi Trends for almost 11 years. He joined the company in April 2007 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in March 2010, and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary in March 2015.
Prior to joining the company, Smith served as CFO of two other public companies, Hancock Fabrics, Inc. and Fred’s, Inc. He started his career in public accounting with Price Waterhouse and is a certified public accountant.
“We are very happy and proud to announce that Bruce Smith has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. In the past year, as acting CEO, he has clearly demonstrated that he has the leadership skills to lead this company. He led the team to deliver a very successful 2017," said Ed Anderson, Executive Chairman of the Board.
Citi Trends, Inc. operates 553 stores located in 31 states.