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Family Dollar to accelerate store growth

BY Mike Troy

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Following the release of record sales and profits on Wednesday morning, Family Dollar said it would open 500 new stores next year.

Sales for the company’s fourth quarter ended Aug. 25, increased 10.8% to about $2.4 billion and same-store sales increased 5.4%. Profits per share increased 4.5% to 69 cents and included a six cent per share charge related to a preliminary settlement of a legal matter involving the state of New York. Excluding the litigation charge, earnings per share would have increased 13.6% to 75 cents. For the year, sales increased 9.2% to $9.33 billion and net income per share increased 14.7% to $3.58, or 16.7% to $3.64 if the litigation charge is excluded.

"Fiscal 2012 was a year of great progress for Family Dollar," company chairman and CEO Howard Levine said. "We expanded our merchandise assortment to increase our relevancy to our customers, we continued to improve the shoppability of our stores and we repositioned our leadership team to better support our growth."

Among the accomplishments the company highlighted were the opening of 475 new stores, including 41 stores in California, and the renovation, relocation and expansion of 854 stores. The company expanded assortments in key consumable categories of food and health and beauty aids and introduced new categories, such as tobacco, magazines and gift cards. To support its growth, Family Dollar opened its 10th distribution center and began construction of an 11th facility.

"These accomplishments position us well for continued growth in fiscal 2013 and beyond," Levine said. "This year, as we work to drive further benefit from the investments we made in fiscal 2012, we will focus on enhancing the shopping experience in our stores, increasing inventory productivity, improving store-level processes, and driving greater profitability."

Looking ahead, Family Dollar indicated it plans to accelerate the breakneck pace of growth it has experienced in recent years. In addition to opening 500 new stores, Family Dollar expects 2013 will see the company generate same store sale in the range of 4% to 6% and full year earnings per share will range from $4.10 to $4.40.

"Our financial goals over the next three to five years are to consistently deliver five to seven percent net new store growth, mid-single-digit comp sales growth, operating margin expansion and double-digit earnings per share growth," Levine said. "Our plans for fiscal 2013 align nicely with these long-term goals."

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Plackers introduces travel case with Micro Mint flossers

BY Antoinette Alexander

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Oral care company Plackers is making flossing on the go more convenient than ever with the introduction of the new Micro Mint Travel Case, a plastic flosser case that easily slips into purses, gym bags, carry-ons and more.
 
Filled with 12 Micro Mint flossers — which feature Super Tuffloss floss that is engineered not to stretch, shred or break during use — the new travel packs provide an oral care solution for people on the move who want a better clean than toothpicks or gum can offer. The Micro Mint’s fold-away pick also helps keep teeth debris-free on the go.
 
The manufacturer suggested retail price for a 12-count Micro Mint Travel Case is $1.29 at select retailers, and the compact cases also are available online at Plackers.com in packs of two for $3 (shipping and handling included).
 
The Micro Mint Travel Case is the latest product in Plackers’ flosser line. Other flossers include Twin-Line featuring two parallel lines of floss, new GentleSlide for people with tight teeth, Plackers Kids with fluoride and OrthoPick, which is designed to be used by people with braces.

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McKesson gears up for 25th McKesson Health Solutions Conference

BY Allison Cerra

NEWTON, Mass. — McKesson will bring together payers and providers to discuss the changing healthcare landscape, its challenges and opportunities, and innovative approaches to improving healthcare access and quality while reducing costs at the annual McKesson Health Solutions Conference, now in its 25th year.

The McKesson Health Solutions Conference features almost 100 sessions and events intended to promote learning, best practices and networking. New to the conference this year is the Healthcare Transformation Series, where industry and McKesson speakers will discuss such topics as accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, health-and-wellness innovations, bundled payment for episodes of care, payer-provider partnership and value-based reimbursement.

For the opening keynote of the conference, McKesson Health Solutions president Emad Rizk will be joined by McKesson Health Solutions SVPs Carolyn Wukitch and Judy Smythe, who will examine key industry trends and discuss McKesson’s approach to helping organizations prepare for a future where better health at lower cost is not only possible, but also sustainable. Phyllis Torda, VP strategy and the quality solutions group at National Committee for Quality Assurance, will deliver a keynote address that provides an "inside the Beltway" look at healthcare reform. In addition, David Nace, VP and medical director for McKesson, will facilitate a keynote panel discussion with executives from leading health plans, who will examine the impacts to date of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and share advice on how best to navigate the future.

"The Affordable Care Act may have focused our efforts, but across the industry we are engaged in the hard work of transformation for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do," Rizk said. "Increasing accountability, decreasing waste and paying for better outcomes are imperatives for both the present and the future."


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