'Positive traffic and a strong finish' aid May sales for Fred's

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Discounter Fred's noted a 5% rise in its fiscal sales for the month, which ended May 29.

The chain said sales totaled $141.5 million, up from $134.9 million in May 2009. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 3.5%, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.

Fred's total sales for the first four months of fiscal 2010 increased 3% to $613.1 million. On a comparable-store basis, year-to-date sales increased 3.5% on top of an increase of 2.1% in the same period last year.

CEO Bruce Efird said, "We are pleased that May comparable-store sales came in at the upper end of our expectations, highlighted by positive traffic and a strong finish before the Memorial Day holiday. This performance reflected a number of positive factors, including good results from our May advertising circulars, solid comparable-script growth in our pharmacy department and continued success with the new sales-driving initiatives we are implementing this year. Despite economic uncertainty and high unemployment, the sales momentum building thus far in 2010 positions Fred's well to capitalize on our customers' desire for savings, selection and convenience."

Fred's operates 670 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised Fred's stores in the southeastern United States.

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