Bloom Departs As Family Dollar Posts Disappointing Q1 Results

As it posted fiscal first quarter results, Family Dollar Stores Inc. announced that Michael Bloom, president and COO, has left the company to pursue other interests. For the period ended November 30, net income fell to $78 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, from $80.3 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2013.

Financial analysts Thomson Reuters polled on average expected earning per share of 69 cents a share.

Comparable store sales decreased 2.8% in the first quarter as customer transactions and average customer transaction value slipped. Net sales increased to $2.5 billion from $2.42 million.

“Today, we reported sales and earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 that were in-line with our previously provided guidance,” Howard Levine, Family Dollar chairman and CEO, said in announcing first quarter results. “As expected, comparable stores sales were pressured, as we anniversaried strong consumable sales growth last year. In addition, our core customers continued to face economic uncertainties, and the promotional environment intensified. While the top line was pressured, we expanded gross margin and managed inventory levels well. In addition, we continued to make progress in our longer-term initiatives. We opened 126 new stores and renovated, relocated or expanded 179 stores. We also expanded our penetration of private brands, increased our percentage of direct imports, and improved our store manager retention.”

Family Dollar operates 8,000 stores across 46 of the United States, it related

The company noted that it would conduct a search for a new president and COO. In a conference call, Levine said his and Bloom’s merchandising strategies were not “aligned.” In his tenure, Bloom focused on driving traffic with additional consumables as well as tobacco introductions, but Levine said that, despite some positive results, he was unhappy with the overall returns on those investments.