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Fred's Plans Store Reformatting

Fred's Stores is setting out on a three-year reconfiguration project to step up the rollout of traffic driving in-store pharmacies and boost sales of discretionary products.
     The retailer expects to alter 12% to 15% of its general merchandise space, executives said during the company's quarterly conference call in late March. Fred's stores with integrated pharmacies generate above 4% operating profit. About half the company's units currently have pharmacies. The company plans to expand that to 65% to 70% by the end of 2015.
     Fred's will begin testing a new destination area centered around hardware, automotive, pet and home, according to Alan Crockett, chief merchandising officer and executive vp of general merchandise.
     "The good news is home has started to improve for us in Q1," he added. "We've seen major improvement in home."

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