Fred's September Total Sales Increase 15% While Comparable Store Sales Increase 4.2%
Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the five-week fiscal month of September and eight-month year-to-date period ended October 3, 2015.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 15% to $211.5 million from $183.5 million in September 2014. Excluding $6.2 million from last year's September sales related to 52 subsequently closed locations, total sales increased 19% for the month. Comparable store sales for the month rose 4.2% compared with an increase of 0.2% in the year-earlier period.
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 9% to $1.433 billion from $1.320 billion for the same period last year. Excluding sales of $51.3 million from stores closed mainly in late 2014, total sales increased 13% for the first eight months of 2015. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 1.3% versus a decline of 0.5% for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerry A. Shore, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report a solid sales performance for September, as both total and comparable sales exceeded our plan. This reflected strong growth in retail and specialty pharmacy, along with higher general merchandise sales as our merchandising and marketing programs produced balanced contributions across all major front-end categories. While the calendar shift for Labor Day aided September sales, we were pleased to sustain positive comparable store sales throughout the month. Also, at the end of the month, sales were negatively affected by the heavy rains that fell across Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
"Our team is excited as we head into the important holiday season," Shore added. "We have a sense of confidence about the opportunities ahead considering the way we continue to increase the coordination of initiatives for merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store operations. We believe the outlook for strong sales to continue is good, which in turn will lead to stronger financial performance in the future."
Fred's, Inc. and subsidiaries operate 661 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 states in the southeastern United States. Included in the store count are 19 franchised locations. Also, there are 383 full service pharmacy departments located within the Company's stores. 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. A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical facts or they use such words as "outlook," "guidance," "may," "should," "could," "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "committed," "continue," or "will likely result" and similar expressions that concern the Company's strategy, plans, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those associated with the Company's announced strategic plan, the ultimate terms of the reworked pharmacy distribution agreement, lease buyouts and the underlying assumptions and projections upon which they are based, as well as risks that intended results may not be achieved or may not occur as quickly as expected; the success of announced acquisition activities and future growth trends in businesses acquired; 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 the factors listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. 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.
Jerry A. Shore, 901-362-3733, Ext. 2217
Chief Executive Officer