Sales rise, comps drop at Fred's

MEMPHIS — Fred's on Thursday said January sales rose 3% to $132.4 million, compared with the year-ago period.

Comparable-store sales for the retailer, however, declined 0.8%, compared with an increase of 2.1% in the same period last year.

"We were pleased to see strong customer traffic in January, together with increasing pharmacy script counts," Fred's CEO Bruce Efird said. "We also witnessed a continued solid performance in pet and household supplies, two of our Core 5 departments. As in December, January sales were affected by unseasonably warm weather across our markets and the shifting of a month-end advertising circular."

During January, Fred's opened six new stores and four pharmacies. There was one franchise store closing.

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