Saturday, July 20, 2024

CEO of Citi Trends steps down, interim leader named

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Citi Trends, a value retailer specializing in apparel, accessories, and home trends for African American and multicultural families, has announced the appointment of Ken Seipel as interim CEO, effective June 2, 2024. Seipel takes over from David Makuen, who has stepped down as chief executive and will now serve as a senior advisor to the CEO and leadership team.

Seipel, who has been a member of Citi Trends’ board since 2019, brings a wealth of retail experience to the role. He has previously served as the CEO of West Marine and off-price retailer Gabe’s, where he led the businesses to record-level profits. Seipel’s retail background also includes executive positions at major companies such as Old Navy, Target, and J.C. Penney.

The leadership change comes at a crucial time for Citi Trends, as the retailer looks to return to profitability following a challenging year. In fiscal 2023, Citi Trends reported a net loss of .0 million, compared to net income of .9 million the previous year. Sales decreased by 5.9%, with comparable-store sales down 6.8%.

Peter Sachse, Citi Trends executive chairman, expressed gratitude to Makuen for his contributions during his tenure as CEO, including leading the company through the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving record financial performance in fiscal year 2021. Sachse outlined the board’s decision to appoint Seipel as part of a strategy to position Citi Trends for future success.

Moving forward, Citi Trends’ board will begin the search for a new permanent CEO, considering both external candidates and Seipel. The company plans to engage a nationally recognized executive search firm to support the process. Seipel has expressed his commitment to driving sales, optimizing costs, and enhancing value creation for Citi Trends.

Citi Trends currently operates 598 stores across 33 states and is focused on strengthening its position in the market under Seipel’s interim leadership.

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