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Retail Briefs

Family Dollar Projects Modest 2008

Neighborhood discounter Family Dollar Stores projected flat year-to-year earnings results for the year ahead, as it reported net earnings up 2.8% to $0.37 per diluted share for the first quarter (ended Dec. 1, 2007) of fiscal 2008. Net income was down 4.1% to $51.9 million; the discrepancy reflects stock buybacks that have reduced the number of share outstanding. Sales rose 5.2% to $1.68 billion in the quarter; comps fell 1.0%.

For its fiscal 2008 (ending Aug. 30, 2008) Family Dollar expects sales to rise 2% to 3% and plans flat to slightly higher comp store sales. Earnings per diluted share are planned between $1.56 and $1.64, about on par with fiscal 2007, when net income came in at $1.62 per diluted share. With $400 million in 2006 home textiles sales, Family Dollar is No. 13 on the HTT Top 50 Retailer Giants.

Kirkland's Home President Resigns

Home furnishings specialty retailer Kirkland's Home said president and coo Catherine David has resigned. Robert Alderson, Kirkland's ceo, will assume her responsibilities, and the 360-store retailer said it "does not currently intend to seek a replacement." In addition to a wide range of home décor hardlines products, Kirkland's carries private label accent rugs, throws and spa textiles.

Fred's ExecTransition on Schedule

Neighborhood discounter Fred's announced the retirement of John Reier, president, and Gerald Thompson, evp and coo, pursuant to the succession plan. Both had planned to retire following the transition to a new company president in September 2007 when Fred's named Bruce Efird to that position. Fred's ceo Michael Hayes lauded Reier and Thompson for their "significant contributions to our strategies, operations and organizational structure" and said the smooth transition in management at the 713-store chain "positions Fred's to continue the important initiatives underway that we believe provide a solid foundation for future growth."

December Comps Finish Quietly

The fifth week of December was sluggish, with comps up 1.0%; overall same store sales rose 1.3% for the five-week retail month (ended Jan. 5), just above the 1.2% goal, the Johnson Redbook reported. The preliminary target for January is a 1.9% year-over-year rise, said analyst Catlin Levis.

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