Discounter Fred's reports 1% sales decline for November

 MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred's on Thurday reported a total sales decline of 1% to $150.4 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 24. Comparable store sales for the month declined 3.6% versus an increase of 1.5% in the same period last year.

"November comparable sales were affected by the intensely competitive advertising and promotional environment surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday," suggested Bruce Efird, Fred's CEO. "Our top line continued to reflect the impact on pharmacy sales of the ongoing brand-to-generic shift, reducing comparable store sales by approximately 300 basis points during the month," he continued. "Meanwhile, layaway sales in November continued to climb to record levels, but these sales, of course, are not recognized for accounting purposes until final payments are made. With November sales ending as anticipated, we continue to expect a stronger sales performance in the final months of our year, as the layaway program unwinds and our marketing programs for December and January go into effect."

Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 3% to $1.6 billion. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales declined 1.1% compared with an increase of 0.8% in the same period last year.

During the month, Fred’s opened one express pharmacy location.

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