Discount retailer Fred's realized positive third-quarter results, thanks to "strong customer traffic, higher gross margins in its general merchandise and pharmacy departments, as well as improved management of controllable operating costs," Fred's CEO Bruce Efird said.
Fred's on Thursday reported sales of $143.5 million for the four weeks ended May 28, up 1%. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 0.2%, compared with an increase of 3.5% in the same period last year.
Fred’s last year migrated its more than 300 pharmacies to a more convenient front-of-store position in an effort to boost pharmacy revenue — and it worked. Fred’s 2010 pharmacy sales growth of 4.8% outpaced the discounter’s overall sales growth of 3% for the year. At the time Fred’s began executing against the pharmacy makeover, the company reported that test stores featuring front-of-store pharmacies enjoyed 20% higher sales per square foot as compared with the company’s average.
Fred's on Thursday posted a 2% increase in sales totaling $153.6 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 26. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 0.9% versus an increase of 2% in the same period last year.