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Fred’s Super Dollar realizes 1.4% gain in fiscal 2013 sales to $1.9 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Thursday posted sales of $495.1 million for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, representing an increase of 0.5% on an adjusted basis (fiscal 2012 fourth quarter was 14 weeks vs. 13 weeks in fiscal 2013). Total sales for fiscal 2013 totaled $1.9 billion, representing a 1.4% on an adjusted basis.  

"Our company’s performance in the fourth quarter reflected all the difficulties that have been cited throughout the retail sector recently as we dealt with the unusually harsh weather of the past several months and a significant 24% increase in the cost of generic drugs, which reduced gross margin by 100 basis points in our pharmacy department," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "Despite the impact of the sales miss for the quarter, we experienced continued momentum in the performance of our reconfiguration departments," he said. "With Hometown Auto & Hardware achieving a comparable store sales increase of 1.5% for the quarter. Pharmacy department sales, relative to total sales, increased to 38.6% from 36.2% last year. Additionally, we were able to leverage selling, general and administrative expenses by 40 basis points in the fourth quarter, despite the sales loss."

Fourth quarter comparable store sales, on an adjusted basis, increased 0.1% compared with a decrease of 2.8% in the prior-year period. On an adjusted basis, comparable store sales for fiscal 2013 increased 0.6% versus a decrease of 1.4% for fiscal 2012.

"As we enter the first quarter of 2014, we estimate that the weather impact on sales and expenses and the lingering effects of the utility bills will be contained to the first quarter," Efird said. "However, the impact of generic drug price increases will be felt in both the first and second quarters, as our programs to mitigate the significant rise in generic costs are implemented and begin to take effect, and as our team works with payers to reset appropriate reimbursement rates. We estimate that these two events will have a combined impact in the range of $0.10 to $0.12 per share during the first two quarters of 2014, which is reflected in our guidance."

During the fourth quarter, Fred’s opened three net new locations, consisting of four full-service store openings, four new Xpress pharmacy locations and the closure of four full-service stores and one Xpress pharmacy location. During fiscal year 2013, Fred’s opened 25 new locations, comprising 11 new stores and 14 new Xpress pharmacies. Fred’s also closed 25 stores and eight Xpress locations during the past year.

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Allergy Relief 2014

BY DSN STAFF

The March/April 2014 Allergy Relief Ingredient Guide breaks down the indication, ingredients, purpose and dosage of Children’s Claritin Chewable, Children’s Allegra Allergy meltable tablets, Children’s Benadryl Allergy Liquid, Nasacort Allergy 24HR, Mucinex Allergy, Hyland’s 4 Kids Complete Allergy and Similasan Kids Allergy Eye Relief.

Click here for the complete guide

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Study: POC testing for infectious diseases could spell opportunity for community pharmacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Recent research suggests that point-of-care testing for infectious diseases in community pharmacies could not only benefit patients but could also represent an opportunity for pharmacy as they look to strengthen their foothold along the front lines of health care.

The research, titled “Point-of-care testing for infectious diseases: Opportunities, barriers, and considerations in community pharmacy,” was published in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association.

According to researchers, “POC testing for infectious diseases could benefit patients and society, and represents an opportunity to expand pharmacy services in community pharmacies. Existing barriers to the implementation of such services in community pharmacies, including deficits in pharmacist training and education, along with state regulatory and legislative variance and vagueness in statutes governing pharmacy, are not insurmountable.”

 

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