Fred's reports monthly sales

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Deep discounter Fred's on Thursday posted $209.3 million in sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, representing a 4% increase as compared with December 2008. Comparable-store sales for the month increased 1.3%, versus flat comparable-store sales in the same period last year.

"We are pleased with Fred's December sales performance, especially considering the tough consumer environment that persists, as comparable-store sales for the month rebounded,” stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. “Several key factors contributed to these positive results, including improved customer traffic, continued pharmacy department script growth and better clearance of seasonal inventory.”

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