If they can even run a successful (and expensive) business in such little town carbondale, IL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbondale,_IL) with below-average household income, they can be successful anywhere. I also locate quite a few similar profiles for the townships their shops are residing.
Your an idiot. carbondale is were the university of IL is located. Your research is flawed if you go by townships and you live in CA. Most colleges and universitys are located in small towns, their called college towns which is right in their sweet spot. IMO Happy Trails
Carbondale is the proud home of the shaggy Salukis, SIU. Smart kids stay in the flatlands up north at U of I. I left my liver in Cdale many years ago, funnest years of my life, too bad I can't remember most of them...
17% poverty in little town population less than 20K, they can sell jean nearly $100 a pair? You can run store locator yourself. There are plentiful of stores in very small town with below-average per capital income.
1) Could the numbers in the past all be fudged? Of course, I don't believe so but hardly could I believe their store locations either.
2) If they can even sell in those locations, why not be more aggressive to expand in much faster path?
One reason was that they didn't have the distribution capacity to support the growth... until this summer when they finish the new distribution center. That should also add 25-30 million in book value upon it's completion. They also pay for new stores in cash. I like the focus on quality locations and a steady dividend check and no debt on the balance sheet.