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.
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.