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Slight dip in April sales prompts new, aggressive marketing campaign at Fred’s Super Dollar

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Thursday announced the company will implement a new long-term marketing strategy stressing everyday low pricing and the convenience of a smaller box to help bolster sales against what the company describes as "intense competitive pressures." The company’s pharmacy operations continue to grow, however.

Fred’s reported $150 million in sales for the four weeks ended May 3, representing a decline of 1.6% as compared to year-ago sales. For the first quarter ended May 3, sales totaled $498.5 million, down 0.6%. 

Comparable store sales for the month of April decreased 2.3% compared with a 1.2% increase in the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 1.9% versus a 1.3% decrease for the year-earlier period.

"April’s sales reflect the limited success of our legacy marketing strategies in matching up with prevailing intense competitive pressures," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "Beginning in late January, we started working with our outside marketing teams and consultants to uncover new opportunities available to us and adjust our marketing strategies to regain our sales momentum. Working through extensive research and building a marketing strategy that can be sustained over the long term has taken several months to design, develop and validate" he said. "One of the key findings of our research has pointed out that the aggressive use of our new strategy today is likely to be quickly embraced, based on the demographics of our customer base. The team has put together a solid marketing plan to capitalize on Fred’s position as a low-price leader and brand our convenience departments’ advantages over small-box competitors."

Fred’s pharmacy department continued to demonstrate solid sales gains in April, with higher sales and comparable store script growth. "However, these improvements were not sufficient to offset the sales shortfall in the other general merchandise departments, which experienced negative comparable sales and traffic declines in April," Efird noted. "With this in mind, we now expect first quarter earnings per share to be in the range of $0.18 to $0.22. As we now begin to implement our new marketing strategy, we expect to see its impact beginning in June, when we anticipate a return to positive comparable store sales in the range of 1% to 3%."

During April, Fred’s opened three Xpress stores, closed two stores without pharmacies, and converted one Xpress into a full-service store.

 

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The Little Clinic opens new clinic location inside Kroger

BY Antoinette Alexander

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The Little Clinic continues to expand access to health care in Williamson County, Tenn., with a clinic inside the new Alexander Plaza Kroger store that opened on Wednesday.
 
"Williamson County is such a fast-growing community of families and businesses and we are so excited to have been included in the development of a brand new Kroger store," stated Sabrina Briggs, regional clinical director at the Little Clinic. “All of the features of the new store really support our commitment and Kroger’s commitment to providing value to our customers and keeping the customer first in all we do.”
 
The Little Clinic celebrated the opening with free refreshments, health screenings and other giveaways. The first 100 consumers received a free screening and a $5 off $25 Kroger purchase coupon. Other grand opening activities took place throughout the store as well.
 

 

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Maybelline develops new Pumped Up! Colossal by Volum’Express

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Maybelline New York is amping up the volume yet again with the introduction of Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara by Volum’Express.
 
The secret is on the inside — a double-curved stem that pumps a double shot of the plumping formula on the oversized brush for bigger, bolder lashes. Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara contains Maybelline’s biggest brush yet for double the collagen, the company said.

Pumped Up! Colossal by Volum’Express will be available in mass-market retailers beginning in June at a suggested retail price of $7.77.

 

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