Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported higher sales for the four-week fiscal month of November and the 10-month year-to-date period ended November 30, 2013.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 1% to $151.5 million, slightly above sales of $150.3 million in November 2012. Comparable store sales for the month were flat versus a decline of 3.6% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 1% to $1.596 billion compared with $1.573 billion for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 1% versus a decline of 1.1% in the same period last year.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "November comparable store sales tracked with the guidance we provided during last week's third quarter conference call. The environment was as competitive as expected and the later Thanksgiving holiday had a negative impact on sales. As anticipated, our pharmacy department continued to perform well during the month. We also saw strong performances in several other departments, including Hometown Auto & Hardware, Pets, Small Appliances, and Consumables."Entering December, our stores are in great shape from a merchandise and operational execution standpoint," Efird continued. "We remain confident in the plans we laid out for the end of the year that will drive positive sales during the remainder of the quarter." During the month, Fred's opened one store and closed four stores and one Xpress 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.