MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred's reported on Thursday that sales for the month of May were essentially flat, totaling $151.9 million.
Same-store sales for the month declined 0.4% compared with a 0.5% decrease in the same period last year.
For the first four months of fiscal 2014, total sales decreased 0.6% to $650.2 million compared with $653.8 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales declined 1.5% versus a 1.1% decrease for the year-earlier period.
"Although comparable store sales declined slightly in May, we were pleased to see sales strengthen in the last week of the month with the impact of the first ad in our new marketing and branding program. As we covered on our recent conference call, this new marketing and branding program is designed to increase traffic and heighten customer awareness of our category diversity in the face of competition,” stated Bruce Efird, CEO. “The initial results were encouraging, and we think this new program will be effective in driving traffic and sales growth as we work toward full implementation of the marketing program by mid-July. Together with the updating of our store layout to emphasize the convenience advantages of our 15,000-square-foot store, it will better position Fred's to serve more of the need-based categories and provide customers with faster and easier shopping experiences."