Fred's Reports June Sales

  Fred's Reports June Sales  Business Wire  MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- July 10, 2014  Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the five-week month of June, which ended July 5, 2014.  Fred's total sales for the month increased 2% to $191.2 million from $187.3 million in June 2013. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 0.6% compared with a 4.5% increase in the same period last year.  Fred's total sales for the first five months of fiscal 2014 were $840.9 million, approximately flat compared with $841.1 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 1.3% versus flat sales for the year-earlier period.  Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Comparable store sales declined slightly for June, with the fourth week of the month being unusually soft as we were unable to place our new ad program for that week. For the weeks that the new ad program were in effect, sales and customer traffic patterns improved noticeably. Our pharmacy department continued to experience strong growth in June, highlighted by ongoing increases in both comparable scripts and sales. Additionally, sales for EIRIS Health Services, our specialty pharmacy division, accelerated and exceeded plan.  "Looking forward, July will be the first month that all the elements of our new marketing plan come together, including in-store marketing initiatives that promote the diverse product mix offered by our stores, together with our new, fully implanted ad program," Efird continued. "We also will begin an aggressive clearance program in July to clear unproductive SKUs and exit or reduce product categories that do not align with our convenience center model. Our team is excited about these changes and confident we will continue to see a positive response from our customers to these initiatives."  Fred's, Inc. operates 704 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, 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; 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.  Contact:  Fred's Inc. Jerry A. Shore, 901-362-3733, Ext. 2217 Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer  
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