Fred's reports April sales results

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred's on Thursday reported total sales of $141.8 million for the five weeks ended April 28, up 4% from the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales for the month declined 0.3%, compared with an increase of 1.8% in the same period last year.

"Comparable-store sales for the month were at the low end of the range we anticipated, but the 4% increase in total sales in April was at the mid-point, as new stores achieved a higher-than-expected sales performance," Fred's CEO Bruce Efird said. "Our comparable stores reflected the impact of an earlier Easter holiday this year, a sharp drop-off in tobacco sales, and the continued shift of brand to generic drugs in our pharmacy department."

Fred's total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2012 increased 3% to $500.5 million, compared with $484.4 million for the same period last year. On a comparable-store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 0.4% versus an increase of 1% for the year-ago period.

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