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About The Cato Corporation

The Cato Corp. caters to fashion-minded women on a budget. The retailer operates more than 1,300 apparel stores in 30-plus states (primarily in the Southeast) under the names Cato, Cato Fashions, Cato Plus, Versona, It's Fashion, and It's Fashion Metro. Its mostly private-label merchandise includes misses', juniors', girls', and plus-sized casual sportswear, career clothing, coats, shoes, and accessories geared to low- and middle-income customers, mostly females aged 18 to 50. Cato's stores are typically located in shopping centers anchored by a Wal-Mart store or another major discounter or supermarket. Founded in 1946, the company is led by chairman John Cato, the third generation of Catos in the family business.


Cato Corp. operates two business segments: Retail which includes its 1,350-plus stores and accounts for 99% of the company's sales; and Credit. To make purchases more convenient, Cato offers a layaway program and its own credit card. The company estimates that 5% of purchases made in its stores involve its branded credit card and layaway program.

Geographic Reach

Cato Corp. is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and has stores across the South, in the Midwest, and along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. Its biggest presence is in Texas where it has more than 180 stores, followed by North Carolina with about 130 and Georgia with about 120.

Sales and Marketing

Cato Corp. purchases its merchandise from about 800 suppliers and 100 vendors. Stores average about 4,500 sq. ft., but the Versona and It’s Fashion Metro stores are bigger, topping at about 11,000 sq. ft.

Cato's advertising includes television, in-store signage, graphics, e-commerce websites, and social media; the company spends about $6 million a year on advertising.

Financial Performance

Cato Corp.’s revenue rose every year (except one) from 2009 through 2015 when sales surpassed $1 billion. In 2016 and 2017, however, revenue declined year-to-year.

The company’s revenue fell about 11% to $850 million in 2017 from 2016. Retail sales brought in about $105 million less in 2017 than 2016 with same-store sales down 12%. Credit sales also fell in 2017. (Cato’s fiscal year ends in early February, but the company refers to it by the previous year.)

Net income was $8.5 million in 2017 compared to about $47 million in 2016. Cato had a one-time tax expense of about $12 million in 2017 due to the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The company’s profit margin was 1% in 2017, down from 5% in 2016 and about 7% in 2015. 

Cash from operations was cut in half to about $36 million in 2017 from 2016 because of lower net income and accounts payable partially offset by a decrease in inventory. The company bought back about $39 million worth of shares in 2017.


Cato Corp. has closed more stores than it opened in 2016 and 2017, ending a several-year trend of brick-and-mortar expansion. The difference was one store in 2016, but it ballooned to a 20-store differential in 2017. The company expected to shutter more than 30 stores in 2018 and not open a single new store.

The company faces many of the same problems felt by other retailer such as the onslaught of ecommerce. But is its spending to develop its own ecommerce capabilities adequate? Capital expenditures, which include investments in new technology, fell to about $11 million in 2017 from more than $26 million in each of 2015 and 2016. Expected capex for 2018? About $7.2 million.

Cato touts its balance sheet, which shows more than $200 million in cash and short-term investments. What’s more, the company is debt free.

The company teaming up with outside vendors to help Cato’s design and buying teams developing the latest merchandise assortment. The company has increased the mix of merchandise from the vendors to provide a wider assortment to appeal to customers.

The Cato Corporation

Charlotte, NC 28273-5975
Phone: 1 (704) 554-8510

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: CATO
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman, President, and CEO: John P. D. Cato
EVP and Director, Stores: Michael Greer
EVP and CFO: John R. Howe
Employees (This Location): 650
Employees (All Locations): 10,350

Major Office Locations

Charlotte, NC

Other Locations

Alabaster, AL
Andalusia, AL
Anniston, AL
Athens, AL
Atmore, AL
Attalla, AL
Bay Minette, AL
Bessemer, AL
Birmingham, AL
Centre, AL
Chelsea, AL
Clanton, AL
Cullman, AL
Decatur, AL
Demopolis, AL
Dothan, AL
Eufaula, AL
Foley, AL
Fort Payne, AL
Gadsden, AL
Greenville, AL
Guntersville, AL
Hartselle, AL
Huntsville, AL
Jackson, AL
Jasper, AL
Leeds, AL
Mobile, AL
Montgomery, AL
Moulton, AL
Muscle Shoals, AL
Northport, AL
Oneonta, AL
Opelika, AL
Oxford, AL
Ozark, AL
Pell City, AL
Phenix City, AL
Prattville, AL
Roanoke, AL
Russellville, AL
Saraland, AL
Scottsboro, AL
Selma, AL
Semmes, AL
Sylacauga, AL
Talladega, AL
Troy, AL
Tuscaloosa, AL
Wetumpka, AL
Alma, AR
Batesville, AR
Benton, AR
Berryville, AR
Blytheville, AR
Bryant, AR
Clarksville, AR
Conway, AR
Crossett, AR
El Dorado, AR
Fayetteville, AR
Forrest City, AR
Fort Smith, AR
Hope, AR
Hot Springs, AR
Jacksonville, AR
Jonesboro, AR
Little Rock, AR
Magnolia, AR
Malvern, AR
Morrilton, AR
Mountain Home, AR
North Little Rock, AR
Paragould, AR
Pine Bluff, AR
Russellville, AR
Searcy, AR
Texarkana, AR
Warren, AR
West Memphis, AR
Wynne, AR
Apache Junction, AZ
Bullhead City, AZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Longmont, CO
Dover, DE
Georgetown, DE
Milford, DE
Seaford, DE
Apopka, FL
Arcadia, FL
Belle Glade, FL
Belleview, FL
Bushnell, FL
Chiefland, FL
Clewiston, FL
Eustis, FL
Fort Pierce, FL
Gainesville, FL
Inverness, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Live Oak, FL
Macclenny, FL
Melbourne, FL
Milton, FL
Ocoee, FL
Okeechobee, FL
Orlando, FL
Palatka, FL
Panama City, FL
Pensacola, FL
Plant City, FL
Quincy, FL
Saint Augustine, FL
Saint Petersburg, FL
Starke, FL
Stuart, FL
Tallahassee, FL
Vero Beach, FL
Wauchula, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Winter Haven, FL
Albany, GA
Americus, GA
Athens, GA
Bainbridge, GA
Brunswick, GA
Calhoun, GA
Canton, GA
Cedartown, GA
Columbus, GA
Conyers, GA
Covington, GA
Dahlonega, GA
Dalton, GA
Decatur, GA
Douglas, GA
Douglasville, GA
Duluth, GA
Eastman, GA
Ellenwood, GA
Ellijay, GA
Fitzgerald, GA
Fort Oglethorpe, GA
Gainesville, GA
Hartwell, GA
Hinesville, GA
Jesup, GA
Kennesaw, GA
Lagrange, GA
Lawrenceville, GA
Mableton, GA
Macon, GA
Madison, GA
Marietta, GA
Mcdonough, GA
Milledgeville, GA
Monroe, GA
Morrow, GA
Moultrie, GA
Newnan, GA
Perry, GA
Riverdale, GA
Saint Marys, GA
Sandersville, GA
Savannah, GA
Snellville, GA
Statesboro, GA
Stockbridge, GA
Stone Mountain, GA
Swainsboro, GA
Thomaston, GA
Thomasville, GA
Thomson, GA
Tifton, GA
Toccoa, GA
Trion, GA
Valdosta, GA
Vidalia, GA
Villa Rica, GA
Warner Robins, GA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Davenport, IA
Dubuque, IA
Fort Dodge, IA
Keokuk, IA
Mason City, IA
Muscatine, IA
Newton, IA
Sioux City, IA
West Des Moines, IA
Belleville, IL
Benton, IL
Carbondale, IL
Decatur, IL
Du Quoin, IL
Granite City, IL
Highland, IL
Jerseyville, IL
Marion, IL
Mattoon, IL
Mount Vernon, IL
Quincy, IL
Washington, IL
Bloomington, IN
Brazil, IN
Columbus, IN
Crawfordsville, IN
Elkhart, IN
Evansville, IN
Fort Wayne, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Madison, IN
Marion, IN
Monticello, IN
Plymouth, IN
Shelbyville, IN
Vincennes, IN
Washington, IN
El Dorado, KS
Emporia, KS
Independence, KS
Junction City, KS
Newton, KS
Pittsburg, KS
Salina, KS
Bardstown, KY
Benton, KY
Bowling Green, KY
Campbellsville, KY
Corbin, KY
Danville, KY
Erlanger, KY
Frankfort, KY
Harlan, KY
Harrodsburg, KY
Hazard, KY
Leitchfield, KY
Lexington, KY
London, KY
Louisville, KY
Madisonville, KY
Mayfield, KY
Maysville, KY
Mount Sterling, KY
Newport, KY
Nicholasville, KY
Oak Grove, KY
Owensboro, KY
Paducah, KY
Pikeville, KY
Prestonsburg, KY
Princeton, KY
Radcliff, KY
Richmond, KY
Versailles, KY
Whitesburg, KY
Abbeville, LA
Alexandria, LA
Baker, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
Bogalusa, LA
Chalmette, LA
Crowley, LA
Cut Off, LA
Deridder, LA
Donaldsonville, LA
Farmerville, LA
Franklinton, LA
Gonzales, LA
Houma, LA
Jennings, LA
Lafayette, LA
Lake Charles, LA
La Place, LA
Leesville, LA
Luling, LA
Mansura, LA
Marrero, LA
Minden, LA
Monroe, LA
Morgan City, LA
New Iberia, LA
Opelousas, LA
Pineville, LA
Ruston, LA
Shreveport, LA
Sulphur, LA
Thibodaux, LA
Winnsboro, LA
Zachary, LA
Oakland, MD
Pocomoke City, MD
Prince Frederick, MD
Salisbury, MD
Battle Creek, MI
Benton Harbor, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
Holland, MI
Lansing, MI
Norton Shores, MI
Arnold, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO
Clinton, MO
De Soto, MO
Eureka, MO
Fulton, MO
Harrisonville, MO
Joplin, MO
Kennett, MO
Lebanon, MO
Marshall, MO
Marshfield, MO
Neosho, MO
Nixa, MO
Osage Beach, MO
Ozark, MO
Poplar Bluff, MO
Republic, MO
Saint Louis, MO
Springfield, MO
Troy, MO
Warrensburg, MO
Amory, MS
Batesville, MS
Brandon, MS
Brookhaven, MS
Canton, MS
Clarksdale, MS
Cleveland, MS
Corinth, MS
Flowood, MS
Forest, MS
Fulton, MS
Greenville, MS
Greenwood, MS
Grenada, MS
Gulfport, MS
Hattiesburg, MS
Holly Springs, MS
Horn Lake, MS
Indianola, MS
Jackson, MS
Kosciusko, MS
Laurel, MS
Louisville, MS
Lucedale, MS
Madison, MS
Magee, MS
Mccomb, MS
Meridian, MS
Natchez, MS
New Albany, MS
Ocean Springs, MS
Olive Branch, MS
Oxford, MS
Pascagoula, MS
Petal, MS
Philadelphia, MS
Picayune, MS
Richland, MS
Senatobia, MS
Southaven, MS
Starkville, MS
Tupelo, MS
Vicksburg, MS
Waveland, MS
West Point, MS
Ahoskie, NC
Albemarle, NC
Asheville, NC
Burlington, NC
Charlotte, NC
Clemmons, NC
Clyde, NC
Dunn, NC
Durham, NC
Eden, NC
Elizabethtown, NC
Fayetteville, NC
Franklin, NC
Fuquay Varina, NC
Gastonia, NC
Goldsboro, NC
Greensboro, NC
Greenville, NC
Havelock, NC
Henderson, NC
Hendersonville, NC
High Point, NC
Hillsborough, NC
Hope Mills, NC
Jacksonville, NC
Kannapolis, NC
Kernersville, NC
Kinston, NC
Knightdale, NC
Laurinburg, NC
Lenoir, NC
Lexington, NC
Lincolnton, NC
Louisburg, NC
Lumberton, NC
Mayodan, NC
Mebane, NC
Monroe, NC
Mount Airy, NC
Murphy, NC
New Bern, NC
Raeford, NC
Raleigh, NC
Randleman, NC
Reidsville, NC
Roanoke Rapids, NC
Rocky Mount, NC
Roxboro, NC
Salisbury, NC
Sanford, NC
Shallotte, NC
Shelby, NC
Siler City, NC
Smithfield, NC
Southern Pines, NC
Southport, NC
Spring Lake, NC
Statesville, NC
Tarboro, NC
Thomasville, NC
Wake Forest, NC
Washington, NC
West Jefferson, NC
Wilkesboro, NC
Williamston, NC
Wilmington, NC
Winston Salem, NC
Grand Island, NE
Kearney, NE
Lincoln, NE
Norfolk, NE
Mays Landing, NJ
Pennsville, NJ
Albuquerque, NM
Carlsbad, NM
Gallup, NM
Hobbs, NM
Las Cruces, NM
Rio Rancho, NM
Santa Fe, NM
Batavia, NY
Evans Mills, NY
Rome, NY
Athens, OH
Cambridge, OH
Celina, OH
Cleveland, OH
Columbus, OH
Dayton, OH
Eaton, OH
Findlay, OH
Greenville, OH
Harrison, OH
Ironton, OH
Jackson, OH
Lebanon, OH
Madison, OH
Massillon, OH
Milford, OH
Newark, OH
Pickerington, OH
Portsmouth, OH
Reynoldsburg, OH
Springfield, OH
Steubenville, OH
Zanesville, OH
Ada, OK
Ardmore, OK
Bartlesville, OK
Broken Arrow, OK
Chickasha, OK
Claremore, OK
Durant, OK
Edmond, OK
Guthrie, OK
Idabel, OK
Lawton, OK
Muskogee, OK
Norman, OK
Oklahoma City, OK
Okmulgee, OK
Owasso, OK
Ponca City, OK
Poteau, OK
Pryor, OK
Sand Springs, OK
Sapulpa, OK
Shawnee, OK
Stillwater, OK
Tahlequah, OK
Tulsa, OK
Woodward, OK
Yukon, OK
Altoona, PA
Coal Township, PA
Muncy, PA
Shippensburg, PA
Anderson, SC
Barnwell, SC
Beaufort, SC
Camden, SC
Cheraw, SC
Columbia, SC
Conway, SC
Florence, SC
Gaffney, SC
Georgetown, SC
Greenville, SC
Greenwood, SC
Greer, SC
Hartsville, SC
Lake City, SC
Lancaster, SC
Laurens, SC
Leesville, SC
Lexington, SC
Mauldin, SC
Mount Pleasant, SC
Newberry, SC
North Augusta, SC
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Orangeburg, SC
Rock Hill, SC
Spartanburg, SC
Summerville, SC
Surfside Beach, SC
Union, SC
Walterboro, SC
West Columbia, SC
Winnsboro, SC
York, SC
Sioux Falls, SD
Athens, TN
Bartlett, TN
Chattanooga, TN
Clarksville, TN
Cleveland, TN
Collierville, TN
Cookeville, TN
Covington, TN
Decherd, TN
Dickson, TN
Dyersburg, TN
Fayetteville, TN
Goodlettsville, TN
Greeneville, TN
Hendersonville, TN
Huntingdon, TN
Jackson, TN
Jasper, TN
Jefferson City, TN
Johnson City, TN
Kingsport, TN
Knoxville, TN
Lafayette, TN
Lawrenceburg, TN
Lebanon, TN
Lenoir City, TN
Lewisburg, TN
Lexington, TN
Madisonville, TN
Memphis, TN
Millington, TN
Murfreesboro, TN
Newport, TN
Oneida, TN
Ooltewah, TN
Paris, TN
Pulaski, TN
Ripley, TN
Rockwood, TN
Selmer, TN
Sevierville, TN
Shelbyville, TN
Springfield, TN
Tullahoma, TN
Union City, TN
Abilene, TX
Alamo, TX
Alvin, TX
Amarillo, TX
Angleton, TX
Arlington, TX
Austin, TX
Baytown, TX
Bonham, TX
Brownwood, TX
Carrollton, TX
Cedar Hill, TX
Center, TX
Cleburne, TX
College Station, TX
Conroe, TX
Corpus Christi, TX
Corsicana, TX
Crockett, TX
Dallas, TX
Del Rio, TX
Desoto, TX
Dickinson, TX
Dumas, TX
Edinburg, TX
El Campo, TX
Floresville, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Friendswood, TX
Garland, TX
Granbury, TX
Grand Prairie, TX
Gun Barrel City, TX
Harlingen, TX
Henderson, TX
Hereford, TX
Houston, TX
Irving, TX
Jacksonville, TX
Jasper, TX
Katy, TX
Kemah, TX
Kerrville, TX
Kilgore, TX
Killeen, TX
Kingsville, TX
Lake Jackson, TX
Lampasas, TX
Levelland, TX
Liberty, TX
Lindale, TX
Livingston, TX
Longview, TX
Lubbock, TX
Lufkin, TX
Lumberton, TX
Marshall, TX
Mckinney, TX
Midland, TX
Mineral Wells, TX
Mount Pleasant, TX
Nacogdoches, TX
New Boston, TX
Odessa, TX
Pampa, TX
Pasadena, TX
Pearland, TX
Pflugerville, TX
Plainview, TX
Plano, TX
Pleasanton, TX
Port Arthur, TX
Rockwall, TX
Rosenberg, TX
Rowlett, TX
Saginaw, TX
San Angelo, TX
San Antonio, TX
San Benito, TX
Seagoville, TX
Seguin, TX
Silsbee, TX
Spring Branch, TX
Sulphur Springs, TX
Temple, TX
Terrell, TX
The Colony, TX
Tomball, TX
Tyler, TX
Victoria, TX
Waxahachie, TX
Weatherford, TX
West Orange, TX
Wichita Falls, TX
Abingdon, VA
Ashland, VA
Big Stone Gap, VA
Bluefield, VA
Bristol, VA
Chesapeake, VA
Covington, VA
Danville, VA
Fairlawn, VA
Farmville, VA
Franklin, VA
Front Royal, VA
Kilmarnock, VA
Lynchburg, VA
Madison Heights, VA
Marion, VA
Martinsville, VA
Newport News, VA
Norfolk, VA
North Chesterfield, VA
Orange, VA
Portsmouth, VA
Richmond, VA
Roanoke, VA
Salem, VA
South Boston, VA
Suffolk, VA
Tappahannock, VA
Waynesboro, VA
Woodstock, VA
Waukesha, WI
Beckley, WV
Clarksburg, WV
Elkins, WV
Hurricane, WV
Lewisburg, WV
Oak Hill, WV
Princeton, WV
South Charleston, WV
Wayne, WV
Weston, WV