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May Proves a Challenging Month for Fred's

MEMPHIS, TENN - Despite unseasonable weather conditions, Fred's met its modest sales expectations in May.
     For the four weeks, ended June 1, Fred's total sales inched up 0.2% to $152.4 million, and comparable store sales decreased 0.5%, compared with an increase of 1.3% in the same period last year.
     Year to date, total sales increased 0.2% to $653.9 million, and comps decreased 1.1% versus an increase of 0.1% for the year-earlier period.
     "May comparable stores were consistent with the outlook we shared last week in connection with first quarter results," said Bruce Efird, ceo. "Unseasonal cool and wet weather in May continued to have a negative impact on lawn and garden merchandise, summer toys, and other seasonal departments. Additionally, the sales impact of the ongoing brand-to-generic conversion in the pharmacy department more than offset continued growth in script counts."
     As a result, Fred's estimates that the shift reduced total and same-store sales for the month by about 200 basis points.

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