FINANCE

Fred’s meets high April expectations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Memphis — Fred’s, Inc. reported a slight boost in total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2013 compared to the same period last year – an increase from $500.5 million to $501.4 million. However, comparable store sales during the period decreased 1.3%, compared to a 0.3% drop a year earlier.

Total sales for the four weeks ending May 4 rose 3% from $147.6 million to $152.2 million. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.2% compared with a decline of 0.3% in the same period last year.

"We are pleased that April sales came in at the high end of our expectations, said Fred’s CEO Bruce A. Efird. “A solid comparable store sales performance in our general merchandise departments, despite the poor weather conditions, more than offset the ongoing negative impact of the shift from branded to generic drugs. During the month, we also experienced an increase in customer traffic and made good progress with our plan to improve our sales mix, with a greater proportion coming from higher margin product departments. These accomplishments keep us on track to achieve our earnings projections for the first quarter.”

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The Hillshire Brands names new CIO

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO — The Hillshire Brands Company has appointed David W. Stahl as its new CIO. Stahl will oversee all IT strategy and planning activities and will provide executive leadership and direction for IT. He will report to Maria Henry, CFO.

“David has a proven track record of success and a strong background in quality and process improvement,” said Maria Henry, CFO. “He will lead our information technology agenda in support of the company’s growth strategy and efficiency programs. David’s experience and strong leadership will be a great addition to our team.”

Most recently, Stahl was VP of information technology at Tellabs where he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s global IT operations. He led an IT transformation program which resulted in improved service levels, lower costs and higher operational performance of the IT function. During his tenure at Tellabs he held positions of increasing responsibility from director, global quality assurance to VP, corporate quality and customer satisfaction.

Prior to Tellabs, Stahl served in Quality positions at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., 3Com Corporation’s subsidiary CommWorks, Emerson Electric and Matsushita Electric Corporation of America. He began his career at Defense Electronics Supply Center.

Stahl received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Ohio Northern University. He serves as a member of the board of directors for the QuEST Forum.

Hillshire Brands Company generates approximately $4 billion in annual sales and has approximately 9,500 employees. Its brands portfolio includes Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame.

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Modell’s launches Micros POS and CRM systems

BY Dan Berthiaume

Westborough, Mass. — Sporting goods retailer Modell’s is launching Micros-Retail’s Xstore Point-of-Service, Relate Customer Relationship Management and miStore mobile POS solutions. Modell’s says it intends to transform the customer experience, modernize IT for the stores, reduce training time for IT staff, and streamline day-to-day functions, as well as use miStore to provide quicker customer service with more detailed product information.

"We are excited about this next chapter in the Modell’s story," said Modell’s CEO Mitch Model. "With these advanced MICROS solutions, we have the tools to better connect and serve our loyal customers."

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