Fred’s December sales rise, comps fall
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — December sales for Fred’s realized a 1% gain to a total of $213 million, the discounter said Thursday.
Comparable-store sales for Fred’s saw a decline of 0.4% in December, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.
Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said sales were affected by unseasonably warm weather and continue to be at the low and midpoint of its projected fourth-quarter earnings per share range.
During the month, Fred’s opened seven net stores, including five new pharmacies.
Safeway prepares to exit Philadelphia market
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced the sale of 16 of its Genuardi’s stores in the greater Philadelphia area to Giant Food Stores, a division of Ahold USA. Safeway will continue to operate these stores until the transaction closes, and the company is working through an orderly transition for all of these stores.
In addition, Safeway plans to close three Genuardi’s stores and sell the remaining eight Genuardi’s stores, which it will continue to operate while it is working with potential buyers.
"We have made the decision to exit the greater Philadelphia market, including four stores in New Jersey, and focus our resources in those operating areas where we have a stronger presence," stated Steve Neibergall, president of Safeway’s eastern division. "We will be working with the purchasers to ease the transition for our store employees and making efforts to facilitate continued employment for as many of them as possible."
As for Giant, the company plans to convert the stores under the Giant Food banner.
"Giant is always looking for convenient locations to better serve our customers," Giant Food president Rick Herring said. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our presence in greater Philadelphia and serve new customers."
The sale currently is expected to close within the first half of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
RAD comps increase 3.6% in December
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s same-store sales increased 3.6% in December 2011, compared with December 2010, the company said Thursday.
Front-end same-store sales increased by 0.7%, while pharmacy same-store sales increased by 5.2% and prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.2%. Total store sales increased by 3.3% to $2.6 billion, compared with December 2010’s nearly $2.6 billion.
One factor that helped raise the numbers was a New Year’s holiday calendar shift, resulting in a 2.1% increase in same-store sales when the holiday period through Jan. 2 is included.
For the 44-week period ending Dec. 31, same-store sales increased by 1.8%, including a 0.8% increase in front-end same-store sales and a 2.3% increase in pharmacy same-store sales. Total store sales increased 1.4% to $21.5 billion, compared with $21.2 billion in 2010. Prescription sales accounted for 67.9% of total store sales.