Fred's reports September, YTD sales


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s reported sales for its fiscal month of September, as well as the year-to-date as of Oct. 1 on Thursday. The company reported a 5.5% decrease in September sales — $199.9 million, compared to $211.4 million in the same period in 2015. Comparable store sales decreased 4.9%, compared to a rise of 4.2% last year. 


Fred’s CEO Michael Bloom said that the company’s September saw a tough comparison because of federal assistance payment calendar shifts, a reduction in SNAP payments and the increased impact of competitive pricing, particularly among consumables. 


“Retail pharmacy performed consistent with recent trends and continued to be pressured by the shift to 90-day prescriptions,” Bloom said. “On the other hand, specialty pharmacy, while experiencing low-single-digit negative comparable sales due to an industry-wide slowdown in Hepatitis C drugs, is continuing its steady consecutive month-over-month growth.”


For the year-to-date, Fred’s has seen $1.439 billion in sales, up 0.5% from the same period in 2015. On a comparable store basis, YTD sales decreased 1.5%, compared to a 1.3% increase last year. Bloom said that moving forward, the company will be looking to optimize its store fleet and supply chain with a focus on markets where it’s strong, all while investing more in marketing and technology. 


“ A significant number of our stores are performing well, experiencing positive or at least flat comparable store sales,” Bloom said. “We have identified our weaker markets and are working to mitigate their business trends. We know we can be the best in the markets we serve, we know our customers' needs, and we know we can deliver access to pharmacy and healthcare services as well as a broad, value-based assortment of products.”


Fred’s said its October fiscal month ends on Oct. 29 this year, moving all last-minute Halloween sales to the November reporting period. The company will have an investor day in New York City on Dec. 2, with an agenda to come at a later date. It will be webcasted. 


This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds