Citi Trends: Apparel & Home Trends For Way Less Spend

February 10, 2024

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Citi Trends, Inc., operates a chain of 597 stores. The company caters primarily to African-American customers who comprise about 70 percent of the customer base.

Citi Trends operates 597 stores located mostly in the eastern half of the United States, with a few in California.

In 1946, Albert Lipshitz, an immigrant from Estonia, a small country to the northwest of Russia, founded Allied Department Stores which sold women’s undergarments and hosiery. They were branded Allied Department Stores as an allusion to the victorious Allies of World War II. The company served clothing retailers throughout the southern states.

On the heels of success, the company branched out in 1958 to include retail clothing outlets. The store kept its name until 2001 when the company rebranded itself as Citi Trends.

Citi Trends is a leading player in the urban fashion retail segment, competing directly with retailers such as Tilly’s, Ross Dress for Less and Zumiez.

On February 28, 2005, Citi Trends Inc. went public in an initial public offering of stock worth up to $57.5 million. In May 2005, Citi Trends became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq exchange with the symbol CTRN.

A Citi Trends store was among the property locations destroyed by arson during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul in May 2020.

The average Citi Trends store has over 10,000 square feet of retail space. In addition to fashions for the whole family, the stores also offer small home accessories such as lamps, pictures, mirrors and figurines with an emphasis on African tribal decor.

In 1978, Michigan General Corp. purchased both the Allied Chain and Savannah Wholesale. Michigan General Corp. was a Dallas-based conglomerate that also held interests in homebuilding products, oilfield chemicals, highway safety construction, recreational vehicles, paperback books, retail furniture, and a temporary employment agency for engineers. In the end, it proved to be an unmanageable concoction of businesses and the company became burdened by debt. In 1982, John Boudreau took over as chief executive officer and, in three years he grew the number of retail outlets from 23 to 117.

The company adopted the Citi Trends name in July 2001.

Gloria Sauvé