If Your Suit Is a 56 Extra-Long

Casual Male Retail Group (CMRG )--formerly called Designs Inc.--which operates 475 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, targets big and tall men who have difficulty finding clothes that fit them. "We actually serve a kind of a captive market where we have very little competition," says Chairman Seymour Holtzman. He expects Casual's sales to hit $340 million in the year ending Jan. 28, 2003, vs. last year's $195.1 million. Holtzman plans to open 40 stores in 2003. "The outsize males are not fashion leaders; they are trend followers. So they're happy with our mainstream merchandise," says Holtzman. Adds CEO David Levin: "We're in a low-cost, high-margin business where we are the 800-pound gorilla." No major Street firm follows Casual, now at 3.80 a share. But John Reilly of CJS Securities, in White Plains, N.Y., rates Casual a "strong buy" and sees profits of 36 cents a share in fiscal 2003 and 53 cents in 2004. Some CJS staff own shares.

By Gene G. Marcial

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