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Fred's Reports July Sales

Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month, second quarter and six-month period ended August 3, 2013.

Fred's total sales for the month increased 4% to $142.2 million from $136.8 million in July 2012. Comparable store sales for the month increased 2.5% on top of an increase of 1.2% in the same period last year.

Fred's total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 2% to $482.3 million compared with $470.8 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, second quarter sales increased 2.2% versus a decline of 1.0% in the same period last year.

Fred's total sales for the first six months of fiscal 2013 increased 1% to $983.8 million compared with $971.3 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.5% versus a decrease of 0.5% in the same period last year.

Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "July sales marked a continuation of positive trends in comparable store sales as both general merchandising and the pharmacy departments contributed equally to the month's increase, a balance we plan to maintain for the remainder of the year. Notably, the pharmacy department experienced both comparable sales and scripts increases for the second consecutive month, while the increase in general merchandising reflected effective promotions to drive traffic. Our second quarter sales also underscore the impact of our reconfiguration plan initiatives, most notably with our expanded Hometown Auto & Hardware department – the first phase of our space productivity plan, and our efforts to leverage new opportunities in the pharmacy department. Given our progress during the second quarter, we remain confident that the quarter's earnings will be in the range previously forecasted."

During the second quarter, Fred's opened two new store locations, closed 20 stores and opened one new pharmacy location.

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