Fred's February Total Sales Increase 12%
Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month of February, the first month of fiscal 2016, which ended February 27, 2016.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 12% to $171.1 million from $153.2 million in February 2015. Comparable store sales for the month rose 0.8% versus flat comparable store sales for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerry A. Shore, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We were pleased to see an ongoing trend of positive comparable store sales in January and strong growth in total sales for the month. In our pharmacy departments, the impact of specialty pharmacy on total sales was noteworthy, as was the positive performance in both sales and scripts, despite a continued mild cold and flu season in our retail pharmacies. In general merchandise, as we have seen in recent months, we again experienced a strong performance in spring seasonal, health and beauty aids, and in other categories where product assortments have been expanded and improved. While general merchandise sales also were negatively affected by the mild cold and flu season, delays in tax refunds early in the month, and generally lower tax refund amounts, we were pleased to see that the flow of tax refunds did accelerate late in the month.
"We remain encouraged by the momentum that continues to build across the Company," Shore added. "During February, we began the 2016 new prototype remodel program with five stores, a monthly pace we expect to maintain throughout most of the year. We also saw strong performance from the improvements made in 25 stores that benefited from competitive store closings during the month. We will provide more detail on our initiatives during our fourth quarter earnings conference call on March 23."
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 18 franchised locations. Also, there are 371 full service pharmacy departments located within Fred's stores, including five franchised locations. 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; cyber-security threats; 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