Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the five-week month of June, which ended July 6, 2013.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 3% to $187.7 million from $182.6 million in June 2012. Comparable store sales for the month increased 4.5% versus a decrease of 4.0% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the first five months of fiscal 2013 increased 1% to $841.6 million compared with $835.1 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales were flat compared with a decrease of 0.8% for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report a significant improvement in comparable store sales for June, which exceeded our expectations and reflected increased customer traffic and higher transaction amounts, coupled with the benefit of the calendar shift early in the month. Our general merchandise initiatives in June focused on driving customer traffic through promotions of consumables. In addition, improved weather conditions throughout our markets also were favorable to the Lawn & Garden, Summer Toys, and Seasonal departments, which are now expected to be on plan for this quarter. The trend in pharmacy department sales also shifted in June as comparable stores turned positive for the first time in 10 months, and the department continued to experience positive script growth. Our reconfiguration plan initiatives continue to gain traction, and, based on the results of the first two months of the quarter, we remain confident that our second quarter earnings will be in the range previously forecasted."During the month, Fred's closed 20 stores and opened a net of two new stores and one new pharmacy location. Fred's, Inc. operates 697 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.