Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month and seven-month year-to-date period ended August 25, 2012.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 2% to $139.9 million from $137.8 million in August 2011. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 2.8% versus an increase of 1.6% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 3% to $1.111 billion compared with $1.075 billion for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 0.8% versus an increase of 0.6% in the same period last year.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Although comparable store sales for August were slow, an increase in late back-to-school sales put us ahead of our recently issued guidance for the month. In addition, our Pharmacy department's performance remained strong, primarily due to ongoing script growth and generic drug introductions, together with our aggressive pursuit of new pharmacy acquisitions."As we outlined in our second quarter earnings release and earnings call, we have begun to implement several strategic initiatives – supported by increased capital and marketing resources – aimed at driving top-of-mind awareness and increasing customer traffic," Efird continued. "These initiatives include expanded advertising, additional direct mail and the expansion of our SmartCard TM loyalty programs. We also are expanding initiatives in home, hardware, and automotive as part of our focus on improving overall store sales productivity. We are optimistic that the successful implementation of these initiatives will be key to building sales momentum and delivering improved earnings throughout the remainder of the year." During the month, Fred's opened three new stores and five new pharmacies. Fred's, Inc. operates 703 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's Website at www.fredsinc.com. Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns, delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its stores or between the Company's suppliers and same, a disruption in the Company's data processing services, costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites, and other contingencies discussed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Fred's undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.