Fred's October sales grew 4% to US$136.4M as comparable-store sales rose 2%; company says it is planning 'aggressive merchandising and marketing' for holidays

MEMPHIS , November 3, 2011 () – Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED - News) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month, third quarter and nine-month year-to-date period ended October 29, 2011.

Fred's total sales for the month increased 4% to $136.4 million from $131.1 million in October 2010. Comparable store sales for the month rose 2.0% versus an increase of 1.2% in the same period last year.

Total sales for the third quarter of 2011 were $444.6 million, up 2% from $435.0 million in the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 1.5% compared with a 1.5% increase in the third quarter of 2010.

Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 2% to $1.382 billion compared with $1.356 billion for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.7% on top of an increase of 2.1% in the same period last year.

Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report solid sales for October, in line with projections for the month and quarter. Our higher comparable store sales for October reflected a good mix of traffic and ticket growth, as our Core 5 departments continued to perform well – particularly Pet, Household Supplies, and Party. In the Pharmacy department, another strong Core 5 department, script counts also strengthened in October. With the fourth quarter underway at Fred's, our team is excited about the aggressive merchandising and marketing plans in place for the upcoming holidays."

During the month, Fred's opened five new stores. During the third quarter, Fred's opened 10 new locations and closed one store.

Fred's Inc. operates 683 discount general merchandise stores, including 22 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's Website at www.fredsinc.com.

Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns, delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its stores or between the Company's suppliers and same, a disruption in the Company's data processing services, costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites, and other contingencies discussed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Fred's undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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