Fred’s reports both monthly and quarterly record sales
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s Inc. reported record sales for the five-week and eight-month periods which ended Oct. 6, 2007.
The company said Friday that its total sales for the month increased 2 percent to $161.4 million compared to the same period last year. Total sales for the year-to-date period increased 5 percent to $1.157 billion.
Same store sales for the month rose 1 percent on top of a 5 percent increase in September last year. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 1.3 percent through the first eight months of fiscal 2007 compared with a 2.7 percent gain in the year-earlier period. Same-store sales are a key predictor of how well the company performs in stores that have been open for several years, and how well the newly open stores will do in the future.
“September sales came in at the low end of our forecasted range of a 1 percent to 3 percent increase, affected by unusually warm weather across our markets and the disruption caused by the updating of 98 stores under our refresher program,” said Fred’s Stores chief executive officer Michael J. Hayes. “We look forward to finishing our refresher program in October with the last 60 stores and to a better economic environment for our customers going forward, as the benefits of the minimum wage increase and the focus of Federal Reserve Board on the credit crunch take hold.”
Fred’s opened four stores at the end of September, bringing total store openings to 22 for the year-to-date period. These new store openings have been balanced by the company’s decision to close underperforming stores. In the remaining months, Fred’s Stores said that it plans to open 14 additional stores, with no further planned closings, which will result in a net increase in stores of 2 percent for the year.
Fred’s Inc. operates 702 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised stores in the southeastern United States.
Tops Markets acquired by Morgan Stanley for $310 million
NEW YORK Morgan Stanley Private Equity has acquired regional supermarket chain Tops Markets from Ahold for $310 million. Tops operates 71 stores under the Tops Markets and Martin’s Super Food Stores banners and five franchise supermarket grocery stores in the Northeast.
The acquisition, which includes 61 in-store pharmacies, is expected to close by the end of this year.
“Tops is a well-regarded grocer with attractive long-term performance, strong employee relationships and a loyal customer base,” said Gary Matthews, managing director and operating partner of Morgan Stanley Private Equity. “We are excited to continue Tops’ tradition of outstanding service to customers and to maintain its position as a leading supermarket in the region.”
Morgan Stanley is expected to continue operations at the stores, but corporate functions will be relocated to Buffalo, N.Y. Frank Curci, former chief executive officer of Tops, is expected to serve on the board of directors and lead the transition in the coming months.
Walgreens promotes vp specialty pharmacy, controller
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced today the promotions of Stanley Blaylock and Mia Scholz from divisional to corporate vice presidents.
Blaylock is the vice president of specialty pharmacy for Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens that includes Option Care. Blaylock joined Walgreens in 2006 when the company acquired Medmark Specialty Pharmacy Solutions, which Blaylock co-founded.
Scholz was promoted to corporate vice president of accounting and controller. She joined Walgreens in 1999 after working for Arthur Anderson.