Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month and 10-month year-to-date period ended November 24, 2012.
Fred's total sales for the month declined 1% to $150.4 million compared with $152.1 million in November 2012. Comparable store sales for the month declined 3.6% versus an increase of 1.5% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 3% to $1.573 billion compared with $1.534 billion for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales declined 1.1% compared with an increase of 0.8% in the same period last year.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "November comparable sales were affected by the intensely competitive advertising and promotional environment surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Our top line continued to reflect the impact on pharmacy sales of the ongoing brand-to-generic shift, reducing comparable store sales by approximately 300 basis points during the month. Meanwhile, layaway sales in November continued to climb to record levels, but these sales, of course, are not recognized for accounting purposes until final payments are made. With November sales ending as anticipated, we continue to expect a stronger sales performance in the final months of our year, as the layaway program unwinds and our marketing programs for December and January go into effect."During the month, Fred’s opened one express pharmacy location. Fred's, Inc. operates 709 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.