Citi Trends Inc became a publicly traded company on May 2005. It is a value-priced retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. The Companys merchandise offerings are designed to appeal to the preferences of fashion conscious consumers, particularly African-Americans. It also offers products from less recognized brands and a lesser amount representing private label products under its proprietary brands such as Diva Blue, Red Ape, and Lil Miss Hollywood. The Company's private brand products enable it to expand product selection, offer merchandise at lower prices and enhance its product offerings. Its merchandise includes apparel, accessories and home decor. Within apparel, it offers fashion sportswear for men, women and children, including offerings for newborns, infants, toddlers, boys and girls. The Company also offers accessories, which includes handbags, jewelry, footwear, belts, intimate apparel and sleepwear. The company purchases its merchandise at attractive prices and mark prices up less than department or specialty stores. It reviews each department in its stores at least monthly for possible markdowns based on sales rates and fashion seasons to promote faster turnover of inventory and to accelerate the flow of current merchandise. The Company allocates merchandise across its store base according to the store-level demand. The merchandising staff utilizes a centralized management system to monitor merchandise purchasing, planning and allocation in order to maximize inventory turnover, identify and respond to changing product demands and determine the timing of mark-downs to its merchandise. The average selling space of the companys existing 505 stores is approximately 10,800 square feet, which allows it the space and flexibility to departmentalize its stores and provide directed traffic patterns. The Company arranges its stores in a racetrack format with womens sportswear in the center of each store and complementary categories adjacent to those items. It offers a layaway program that allows customers to purchase merchandise by initially paying a 20% deposit and a $2 service charge. The customer then makes additional payments every two weeks and has 60 days within which to complete the purchase. If the purchase is not completed, the customer receives a merchandise credit for amounts paid less a re-stocking and layaway service fee. All merchandise sold in the companys stores is shipped directly from its distribution centers in Darlington, South Carolina and Roland, Oklahoma. The Company competes against a group of retailers, including national off-price retailers, mass merchants, smaller specialty retailers and dollar stores. In addition, the merchandise the company sells in its stores is subject to regulatory standards set by various governmental authorities with respect to quality and safety.