Citi Trends Inc. appointed David Makuen as chief executive officer, effective March 9, 2020. Makuen will succeed Peter Sachse, who has served as interim CEO since December 9, 2019.
Makuen will assume the day-to-day leadership of the company and will also join Citi Trends’ Board of Directors. Peter Sachse has been appointed by the Board of Directors as the executive chairman, effective March 9, 2020, and will work alongside Makuen as he transitions into his new role as CEO. In addition, the company has narrowed its fiscal 2019 earnings per diluted share guidance to a range of $1.47 to $1.49 when adjusted for proxy-contest and interim CEO related expenses, which is at the upper end of the company’s prior guidance. The company is also reporting that it achieved a 3.1 percent comparable store sales increase for the fourth quarter.
CEO Appointment and Transition
The company’s Chairman of the Board, Brian Carney, commented, “We are excited to have David join Citi Trends. David comes to us with over 24 years of retail experience, most recently as Executive Vice President of marketing, strategy, and e-commerce for Five Below. David was a member of the leadership team that oversaw Five Below’s explosive growth over the past 8 years. David’s proven leadership experience along with his unique skillset gives us confidence that he is the right leader to drive Citi Trends’ long-term strategic plan to reach sales of $1.0 billion by 2022 and an earnings per share CAGR of 20-25 percent.”
Carney continued, “We are also thrilled to have Peter Sachse’s continued involvement as he partners with David to drive Citi Trends’ strategic objectives over both the near and longer terms. Peter’s guidance over the last few months as Interim CEO and his appointment to Executive Chairman will make for a smooth leadership transition, enabling the team to leverage his extensive knowledge and experience to maximize the strategic initiatives he has spearheaded at Citi Trends.”
Makuen commented, “I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to join the Citi Trends team. Citi Trends’ unique value proposition servicing the complete apparel, accessories and home goods needs of African American consumers provides a significant platform for growth. I look forward to working alongside Peter Sachse and the talented team at Citi Trends as we set our sights on growing into a $1.0 billion brand.”
Sachse commented, “I am extremely excited to have David on board as our CEO and I fully intend to remain actively involved in the execution of the business. I am confident we have the right leadership in place and firmly believe Citi Trends is poised to achieve its 3-year strategic plan. It has been my distinct pleasure and honor as Interim CEO to work alongside the talented and dedicated Citi Trends team.”
Updates Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter Guidance
The company is updating its full-year fiscal 2019 earnings per diluted share guidance, to a range of $1.47 to $1.49 when adjusted for proxy-contest and interim CEO related expenses. The guidance range incorporates a fourth-quarter comparable-store sales increase of 3.1 percent.
In addition, as of today, the company has completed the $25 million share repurchase program that was announced in November 2019.
Citi Trends operates 571 stores located in 33 states.