Fred's November Total Sales Increase 8% While Comparable Store Sales Increase 1.7%
Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month of November and the 10-month year-to-date period ended November 28, 2015.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 8% to $166.0 million from $154.1 million in November 2014. Excluding $7.9 million from last year's November sales related to 47 subsequently closed locations, total sales increased 14% for the month. Comparable store sales for the month rose 1.7% compared with a decline of 2.3% in the year-earlier period.
Fred's total sales for the first 10 months of 2015 increased 9% to $1.762 billion from $1.620 billion for the same period last year. Excluding sales of $63.7 million from stores closed mainly in late 2014, total sales increased 13% for the first 10 months of 2015. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 1.5% versus a decline of 1.0% for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerry A. Shore, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to announce positive comparable store sales for November, at the midrange of guidance provided last week during our earnings conference call. The Company's performance was especially noteworthy considering the impact of warmer weather and a lower incidence of flu cases in the month. Our general merchandise departments improved, marking a continuation of the positive trends we have now seen for three consecutive months, driven primarily by sales in the holiday gift categories as well as in health and beauty aids. Pharmacy department sales were less than we anticipated as specialty pharmacy sales declined during the Thanksgiving holiday week; however, we expect that these sales will shift into the first week of December.
"We are pleased with our team's continued efforts and hard work to implement our strategies and initiatives, which have led to the improvement in comparable store sales over the past several months," Shore added. "The sales results for November give us added confidence in our operating and merchandising plan for the remainder of the holiday season."
Fred's, Inc. and subsidiaries operate 659 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 374 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