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VOL. 127 | NO. 194 | Thursday, October 04, 2012

Fred's September Sales Figure Drops

AP

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Memphis-based discount-store operator Fred's Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 3.8 percent in September, hurt by a shift of drug sales from name brand to generic in its pharmacy department.

Analysts expected a smaller 1.8 percent drop in revenue in stores open at least one year, according to Thomson Reuters. The measure is important to retailers because it excludes sales from new stores and stores that have closed recently.

Total sales for the five weeks ended Sept. 29 rose 1 percent to $170.9 million.

"The impact of generic pricing on the major brand conversions was dramatic," said CEO Bruce Efird.

Usually, market changes occur over six to nine months, but this conversion happened at a more rapid pace, involving a period of only 30 to 45 days.

Lower tobacco sales also hurt results. Pet products, hardware and food were stronger categories.

Year-to-date, revenue in stores open at least one year fell 1.2 percent and total revenue rose 3 percent to $1.28 billion.

Fred's operates about 700 discount stores in the Southeast.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 312 10,190
MORTGAGES 103 400 13,275
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 16 76 2,614
BUILDING PERMITS 221 783 24,307
BANKRUPTCIES 72 299 9,832
BUSINESS LICENSES 39 110 3,713
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 129 519 14,482
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 81 3,144

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