For the four-week month of July, which ended August 2, Fred’s Inc. reported that total sales increased 4% to $148 million. Comparable store sales gained 0.7%.
Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO, said in announcing the financial results, “We are pleased that Fred’s returned to positive comparable store sales for July, reflecting stronger trends in general merchandise sales and improved customer traffic, as recent changes to our marketing plan have gained additional traction. General merchandise departments that reported better performance in July included Health Aids, Housewares, Flooring, Stationery, Toys, Auto & Hardware, and several consumable departments. With our new ad program and marketing strategy now in place, we expect these positive trends to continue in the back half of the year. Complementing improving conditions with general merchandise, we also saw ongoing sales and script growth in the pharmacy department during July, with our best monthly comparable script growth of the year. In July, we also rolled out a clearance and inventory right-sizing program in all of our stores to address unproductive inventory and exit or reduce product categories that do not align with our convenience center model, a key to improving our GMROI going forward.”
Fred’s operates 704 discount stores, including 21 franchised Fred’s locations, in the southeastern United States.