Fred’s Posts November Comp Gain Despite Headwinds

For the four-week fiscal month of November, Fred’s Inc. reported that comparable store sales rose 1.7%. The company posted a total sales advance of 8% to $166 million.

Excluding $7.9 million from last year’s November sales related to 47 subsequently closed locations, total sales increased 14% for the month, the company asserted.

Jerry Shore, Fred’s CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce positive comparable store sales for November, at the midrange of guidance provided last week during our earnings conference call. The company’s performance was especially noteworthy considering the impact of warmer weather and a lower incidence of flu cases in the month. Our general merchandise departments improved, marking a continuation of the positive trends we have now seen for three consecutive months, driven primarily by sales in the holiday gift categories as well as in health and beauty aids. Pharmacy department sales were less than we anticipated as specialty pharmacy sales declined during the Thanksgiving holiday week, however, we expect that these sales will shift into the first week of December.”

Fred’s operates 658 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 states in the southeastern United States.