Fred’s meets high April expectations

Memphis -- Fred’s, Inc. reported a slight boost in total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2013 compared to the same period last year – an increase from $500.5 million to $501.4 million. However, comparable store sales during the period decreased 1.3%, compared to a 0.3% drop a year earlier.

Total sales for the four weeks ending May 4 rose 3% from $147.6 million to $152.2 million. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.2% compared with a decline of 0.3% in the same period last year.

"We are pleased that April sales came in at the high end of our expectations, said Fred’s CEO Bruce A. Efird. “A solid comparable store sales performance in our general merchandise departments, despite the poor weather conditions, more than offset the ongoing negative impact of the shift from branded to generic drugs. During the month, we also experienced an increase in customer traffic and made good progress with our plan to improve our sales mix, with a greater proportion coming from higher margin product departments. These accomplishments keep us on track to achieve our earnings projections for the first quarter.”