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Fred’s readies prototype

Memphis, Tenn. – Under its new “refresher” program aimed at restoring sales per square foot, Fred’s Inc. expects to improve on the recent sagging performance of its soft lines and home furnishings categories. By late June a new store prototype will begin making its appearance, and over the four-year program period it will roll out chain-wide.

“Most of the progress is going toward soft lines and the home areas,” explained James Fennema, evp, gmm, during the 648-unit discount general merchandise store’s fourth quarter and year-end earning conference call today.

“Getting our buying team in place is helping significantly because in both of those areas, 50% of each of those staffs changed over during the course of year last year,” he continued.

“We have increased our corporate commitment in advertising and marketing by 16 basis points,” said Fennema, noting that direct competitors Dollar General, Family Dollar and Wal-Mart have all accelerated their circular activity.

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