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Fred’s strong 2015 continues with October, Q3, YTD sales results

BY David Salazar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s has had a good year so far, according to its sales results from October, Q3 so far and the year-to-date the company released Thursday — with pharmacy and specialty pharmacy playing key roles in its sales growth
 
The company’s comparable store sales rose 2.3% in October, a reversal from the 1.4% drop it saw in the same period last year, and sales rose 13% in October to $164.4 million. October’s sales increases would have been higher (17%) if the company were to exclude 2014 sales from 47 stores it has since closed. 
 
“We are pleased to report that comparable store sales growth for October tracked with our expectations,” Fred’s CEO Jerry Shore said. “These results reflected continued strong top-line growth in our retail and specialty pharmacy departments and ongoing positive trends in general merchandise sales, with a balanced mix across all categories. Halloween sales were a key driver of general merchandise performance in October.”
 
For Fred’s third quarter so far, sales have risen 14% over last year to $541.2 million and comps rose 2.7% for the quarter. In terms of the company’s numbers to-date, it has netted $1.596 billion in sales — a 9% increase over last year’s first nine months. And where the company saw a 0.5% comps decrease in the first three-quarters of 2014, its comps have grown 1.5% this year so far. 
 
“Looking at the third quarter for a broader perspective, we saw clear momentum throughout all lines of business," Shore sad. “Specialty pharmacy sales of EntrustRx drove the strong total sales increase, while retail pharmacy department sales and scripts improved over the second quarter as we continue to implement the initiatives developed by our internal resources and A. T. Kearney.”
 
As the company heads into the holiday season and Q4, Shore said Fred’s is aiming to optimize its operations and finish the fiscal year with a strong financial showing. 
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Costco’s October sales steady in U.S., down in Canada over 2014

BY David Salazar

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco on Thursday announced its October sales results, which showed a 1% increase over the same period last year, as well as a 1% increase for the nine weeks ended Nov. 1 over the same period last year. 
 
For the month, the company saw $8.78 billion in net sales and $19.53 billion over the nine weeks. Though Costco’s U.S. sales saw a slight increase, its Canadian stores saw an 8% decrease in comparable sales for the month and a 9% decline over nine weeks. Much of the decrease seems to be from the effect of gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, as without those factors, the company’s Canadian sales were up 10% for both the month and the nine weeks. 
 
In addition to its 482 U.S. locations, 90 Canadian locations and 138 global locations, Costco plans to open nine new warehouses before the end of 2015. 
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