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Home Lags at Family Dollar

Neighborhood discounter Family Dollar singled out the home category as one aspect of its Treasure Hunt initiative that didn't perform "as we would have liked" during its third fiscal quarter, which ended June 2.

Improvements for home will be modeled after successes in the apparel and accessories departments over the last year, undertaken by a new management and buying team, the company said. Such improvements included a narrowed assortment, improved presentation, enhanced product quality, and better effectiveness in markdowns.

The retailer reported net income of $60.4 million, up 6.2% from $56.9 million for the same period one year ago. Excluding expense for a shareholder litigation, earnings rose 8.1% per diluted share.

Sales for the quarter were up 5.4% to $1.66 billion; comps rose 1.5%, attributed by Family Dollar to "an increase in the average customer transaction amount, which offset a slight decline in customer traffic, as measured by the number of register transactions."

The company projects comps for both June and the fourth quarter to be up 1% to 3%, and for the full year up 1% to 2%.

Chairman and ceo Howard Levine said, "As we continue to invest to improve our operational execution and enhance the shopping experience for our customers, I continue to be excited about the opportunity for Family Dollar."

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