Fred’s Posts June Comp Decline

For the five-week fiscal month of June ended on July 2, Fred’s posted a comparable store sales decrease of 1.3% versus the period a year earlier.

Fred’s total sales for the fiscal month year over year decreased 2.3% to $208.5 million.

Jerry Shore, Fred’s CEO, said, “Although sales for the month were lower than planned, we were encouraged with the front-store performance in June. Sales growth in core categories such as health and beauty aids, seasonal, apparel, toys, lawn and garden and electronics helped offset ongoing challenges in paper, chemicals and food. Consequently, front store comparable sales were positive and increased sequentially from May 2016. This front store progress, however, could not fully offset weaker sales in our pharmacy department, resulting in overall comparable store sales that were below expectation. Lower pharmacy sales reflected the industry-wide slowdown in specialty pharmacy sales attributable to the demand for Hepatitis C drugs as well as a decline in retail sales and scripts, which underscored calendar shifts that benefited May to the detriment of June.”

Fred’s operates 653 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 of the southeastern United States including 18 franchised locations.