Fred’s Q4 Sales Up Slightly, Turnaround Plan Now Underway

Fiscal year fourth quarter net sales at Fred’s were up slightly as comparable store sales were down.

For the quarter ended February 3, net sales were up 2.1% to $477.3 million when compared to the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year. The fourth quarter of the recently completed fiscal year included an additional selling week.

Comparable store sales decreased 0.9% in the quarter when compared to a decline of 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fred’s reported a net loss of approximately $22.6 million or $0.62 per share compared with a net loss of $21.7 million or $0.58 per share in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

For the full fiscal year, total sales decreased 4% to $1.81 billion, with comparable store sales down 2.5%.

Joseph Anto, Fred’s interim CEO, noted that the company’s turnaround plan is now in place and includes two main goals: elimination of company debt and generating positive EBITDA and free cash flow.

“Our plan is focused on five key areas: strategic transactions, optimizing our cost structure and capital allocation, talent acquisition, revenue and margin initiatives and assortment optimization,” he said.