Fred's reports sales increase for May


MEMPHIS, Tenn. Deep discounter Fred's on Wednesday reported total sales for May declined 6% to $134.7 million from $143.4 million in May 2008, reflecting the closing of 74 underperforming stores and 23 underperforming pharmacies last year. However, excluding the closed stores, the retailer reported a 1% increase in sales for the four weeks ended May 30. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 0.2%, versus an increase of 3.4% in the same period last year.

"We are pleased to report that May sales stayed within our forecasted range, knowing that we were up against a tough comparison with last year,” stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. “In developing our sales guidance for the current quarter, we factored that May 2008 marked the beginning of a several-month stretch that benefited from the issuance of the Treasury stimulus checks last year,” he said. “Unusually wet weather across the Southeast and the lack of stimulus checks contributed to a lower average transaction amount this month, but the continued success of our sales initiatives drove higher customer traffic and pharmacy script growth."  

During May, Fred's opened one new pharmacy.

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