Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) today reported that for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 ended March 1, 2014, net sales were $2.7 billion as compared to $2.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended March 2, 2013. Earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were $0.80 as compared to $1.21 in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Consistent with the National Retail Federation Calendar, the second quarter of fiscal 2014 included 13 weeks as compared to 14 weeks in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The Company estimates that this extra week contributed approximately $189 million in sales and $0.07 of earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The Company estimates that the negative financial impact in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 from the adverse winter weather was at least $0.05 of earnings per diluted share.
“Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations,” said Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO. “The 2013 holiday season was challenged by a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer. In addition, like many retailers, our second quarter results were significantly impacted by severe winter weather, which resulted in numerous store closings, disrupted merchandise deliveries and higher than expected utility and store maintenance expenses.”
“Notwithstanding the macro-economic pressure, competitive environment and severe weather, we are not satisfied with our results, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving our performance,” said Levine. “To that end, we have initiated an in-depth business review to identify opportunities to strengthen our value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance.”
“While this business review is ongoing, we are taking immediate, strategic actions to improve our performance. First, we have made a significant investment to lower prices on about 1,000 basic items. Second, we are reducing our cost structure through the optimization of our workforce. Third, we will close approximately 370 underperforming stores. Once complete, our workforce reduction efforts and store closures are expected to result in $40 million to $45 million of annualized operating profit benefit, beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Lastly, we intend to slow new store growth beginning in fiscal 2015 to improve our return on investment. We are confident that these steps will position Family Dollar to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders,” concluded Levine.
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