MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month and seven-month year-to-date period ended August 29, 2015.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 12% to $165.6 million from $147.2 million in August 2014. Excluding $5.6 million from last year's August sales related to 54 subsequently closed locations, total sales increased 17% for the month. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.2% on top of a 2.3% increase in the year-earlier period.
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 7% to $1.221 billion from $1.137 billion for the same period last year. Excluding sales of $45.1 million from stores closed mainly in late 2014, total sales increased 12% for the first seven months of 2015. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.8% versus a decline of 0.6% for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerry A. Shore, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased with the Company's solid sales performance in August, as total and comparable store sales were in line with the outlook we discussed on our earnings call last week. These results reflected improved sales in our pharmacy department, both specialty and retail, as well as continued progress in general merchandise departments, which faced tough comparisons against August last year. Strong general merchandise departments included back-to-school categories of stationery and apparel, as well as health and beauty, toys, and domestics.
"Looking ahead," Shore continued, "we expect to see a stronger total and comparable store sales performance in September versus the same month last year as our merchandising and marketing programs continue to gain momentum, we expand our pharmacy department marketing, and as specialty pharmacy grows. We will continue to make these changes throughout the total store, as we discussed in our recent call, which will produce stronger growth and profitability in the third quarter and beyond."
Fred's operates 661 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's website at www.fredsinc.com.
Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical facts or they use such words as "outlook," "guidance," "may," "should," "could," "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "committed," "continue," or "will likely result" and similar expressions that concern the Company's strategy, plans, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those associated with the Company's announced strategic plan, the ultimate terms of the reworked pharmacy distribution agreement, lease buyouts and the underlying assumptions and projections upon which they are based, as well as risks that intended results may not be achieved or may not occur as quickly as expected; the success of announced acquisition activities and future growth trends in businesses acquired; general economic trends; changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns; delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its stores or between the Company's suppliers and same; a disruption in the Company's data processing services; costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites; and the factors listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Fred's undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.