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November Competition Hurts Fred’s

For the four-week fiscal month ended November 24, Fred’s Inc. posted total sales down 1% to $150.4 million versus $152.1 million in the month last year. November comparable store sales declined 3.6% versus the month a year ago.

Commenting on financial results, Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO, said, “November comparable sales were affected by the intensely competitive advertising and promotional environment surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Our top line continued to reflect the impact on pharmacy sales of the ongoing brand-to-generic shift, reducing comparable store sales by approximately 300 basis points during the month. Meanwhile, layaway sales in November continued to climb to record levels, but these sales, of course, are not recognized for accounting purposes until final payments are made. With November sales ending as anticipated, we continue to expect a stronger sales performance in the final months of our year, as the layaway program unwinds and our marketing programs for December and January go into effect.”