MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred's last week posted a 2% increase in sales for the five weeks ended July 3, reaching $178.3 million. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 1.7%, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.
"June sales were ahead of the year-earlier period, … although they were slightly below our expectations,” stated Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird. “[However], we were pleased with the company's overall performance and the improvement in sales mix resulting from our internal initiatives in June, driven by sales in ‘Core 5’ departments, the growth of prescription counts in our pharmacy department and customer traffic for the month,” he said. “The positive mix shift we are experiencing from ‘Core 5’ validates the importance of our strategic changes given the present economic environment."
Through June, Fred's opened one store, two express pharmacies, five additional pharmacies and refreshed 85 stores with its new Core 5 elements.
Fred’s Core 5 program is designed to highlight five strong trip-driving departments where Fred’s feels it has a marketable advantage over other small-box competitors — notably pharmacy, celebration and party, pet products, paper and chemical, and home products.