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May Comps Slip At Fred’s

In the four-week fiscal month of May, which ended June 1, Fred’s Inc. saw comparable store sales decrease 0.5%. Total sales for the month increased 0.2% to $152.4 million, the company stated.

In comments on results, Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO, said, “May comparable stores were consistent with the outlook we shared last week in connection with first quarter results. Unseasonal cool and wet weather in May continued to have a negative impact on lawn and garden merchandise, summer toys, and other seasonal departments. Additionally, the sales impact of the ongoing brand-to-generic conversion in the pharmacy department more than offset continued growth in script counts. We estimate that this shift reduced total and comparable store sales for the month by approximately 200 basis points. On balance, our results for May provide an encouraging start to the second quarter, and we are pleased that our reconfiguration initiatives continue to gain traction as seen in the overall positive comparable sales in our general merchandise and the total script growth in our pharmacy department.”

Fred’s operates 715 stores, including 21 franchised Fred’s stores, in the southeastern United States.