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Costco’s sales rise in December

BY Allison Cerra

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Net sales for December at Costco rose 11% to nearly $9.2 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, compared with the year-ago period.

Same-store sales rose 4%, while international same-store sales rose 12%.

Costco currently operates 582 warehouses, including 425 in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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Fred’s December sales strategy leads to ‘modest’ improvement

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday posted a same-store sales lift of 0.2% for the five weeks ended Jan. 1, compared with an increase of 1.3% in the same period last year. Fred’s total sales for the month increased 1% to $210.6 million.

"Our strategy for December to drive profitability with lower promotional advertising and reduced markdowns resulted in a modest sales improvement, as expected,” stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. “We did experience softness in the pharmacy department sales, which trended lower as generic drugs reached a new high penetration level, driving the average prescription price lower and more than offsetting the sales gains from comparable-store scripts.”

During December, Fred’s opened two new stores and one additional pharmacy express store.

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Shaw’s to close five stores

BY Michael Johnsen

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Shaw’s Supermarkets, a Supervalu banner, on Wednesday announced five store closures in the coming week — three in Massachusetts and two in Rhode Island — according to published reports.

Shaw’s currently operates 174 stores in New England.

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