Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Load Up on CitiTrends (CTRN)

What could be a better buy than a value-based urban-apparel retailer with huge growth prospects, on sale at a bargain price? Best of all they operate in a niche market and know it well. That's CitiTrends, the purveyor of quality threads catering to the lower-income African-American market. Best of all, African-Americans as a group are the fasted growing portion of our non-immigrant population and their purchasing power is expected to grow faster than any other ethnic group aggregated. What's the value in CitiTrends? Hasn't the stock just shot up? Yes, they beat on same-store-sales, a crucial retailing metric, this month--blowing analyst estimates out of the water. But more than that, CitiTrends is expanding quickly in the Northeast U.S., notably the Chicago area. What catches my eye however, is the expansion into the West. If any of ya'll are from there like myself, you'll know that it's the Latino market that is hugely untapped. Wall Street doesn't see CitiTrends' ability to sell the same products to our amigos Latinos. Where Wall Street is blind is see loads of profits to be made.
Slightly off topic but consistent, highlighting the growing Latino market and it's importance is to Bank of America is yesterday's WSJ.
In the latest sign of the U.S. banking industry's aggressive pursuit of the Hispanic market, Bank of America Corp. has quietly begun offering credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers -- typically illegal immigrants. The new Bank of America program is open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft. Most adults in the U.S. who don't have a Social Security number are undocumented immigrants.