Fred’s reports increase in November sales
MEMPHIS — Fred’s reported that its November sales rose 4% for the four-week fiscal month period ended Nov. 26.
Total sales were $152.1 million, up from $146.1 million in November 2010. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 1.5% on top of an increase of 4.7% in the same period last year, Fred’s said.
During the month, Fred’s opened five new express pharmacy locations.
"Lapping very strong sales in the year-earlier period and facing an extremely aggressive competitive environment, we are pleased with our overall sales performance for November," Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said. "Comparable-store sales growth, driven largely by increased customer traffic, continues to reflect the success of our sales and marketing initiatives. Our best-performing Core 5 departments during the month included pet, household supplies, and pharmacy. As Christmas nears, our stores are well stocked and our customers will find great values and strong merchandise selections to finalize their holiday shopping."
Kmart announces holiday promotion for Shop Your Way Rewards members
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is boosting its Shop Your Way Rewards program by offering members the opportunity to earn $50 in points to put toward their January 2012 Kmart purchases.
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 24, Shop Your Way Rewards members who purchase $250 or $500 of qualifying Kmart merchandise can earn up to $50 in points to put towards purchases made from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, 2012.
"At Kmart, we are truly thankful to have such loyal customers, and we want to show our appreciation this holiday season through our Shop Your Way Rewards bonus points offer," Sears Holdings VP marketing planning Andrew Stein said. "We realize the economic situation has made the holidays financially difficult for many, and we hope the 10% back in rewards points can help ease the burden."
Costco comps up 6% at U.S. clubs
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — The nation’s leading warehouse club operator maintained its momentum in November by posting a 6% increase in same-store sales at U.S. clubs, excluding the beneficial effect of higher year-over-year gas prices.
If the favorable effect of fuel prices, which averaged $3.44 this year, compared with $2.85 last year, are included, then the U.S. comp figure rose 9%. International comps also rose 9%, but were negatively affected during the month by a somewhat stronger U.S. dollar. International comps, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations increased 11%.
Total company sales for the four-week period ended Nov. 27 increased 11% to $7.5 billion from nearly $6.8 billion last year. Sales for the 13-week period, which closely aligns with the company’s first-quarter period ended Nov. 20, increased 12% to $23.1 billion, compared with nearly $20.6 billion in the year-ago period. First-quarter financial results are scheduled for release next week on Dec. 8.
As for Costco’s November performance, the company noted that Texas, California and the Midwest were its strongest performing regions and also highlighted an interested development in the consumer electronics category.
Other categories highlighted include food and sundries and softlines where the company said it experienced a high single digit comp increase.
Costco ended the period with a total of 596 clubs globally, including 433 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, nine in Japan, eight in Taiwan, seven in Korea and three in Australia. Before year end, Costco said it will open two additional units in Japan.