FINANCE

Fred’s Q1 profit up 18%

BY CSA STAFF

Memphis, Tenn. Fred’s on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter improvements, with a profit increase of 18% to $8.6 million.

Total sales dipped 1% for the quarter, to $458.4 million, impacted by the closing of 97 underperforming stores and pharmacies. Excluding the closings, total sales from ongoing stores rose 5% for the quarter.

During the first quarter, Fred’s opened three new stores and three new pharmacies. Also, Fred’s closed three pharmacies in the first quarter.

According to Bruce A. Efird, CEO, Fred’s will launch an enhanced store prototype in approximately 16 new and remodeled stores during the second quarter.

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Rite Aid, The Skin Cancer Foundation educate consumers on proper skin care

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid is partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation to help educate consumers on the importance of smart skin care practices. Visitors to nearly 4,900 Rite Aid stores nationwide and online at www.riteaid.com can pick up a free 12-page guide with information from The Skin Cancer Foundation on how to prevent skin cancer by offering tips on wearing sunscreen and proper sunglasses.

Online at www.riteaid.com/health/skin/ visitors will find an interactive body map to track skin changes on a regular basis, a section about the differences between harmless spots and unusual growths that need immediate medical attention, and the facts about UVA/UVB protection.

Rite Aid also is participating for the second year in the The Skin Cancer Foundation’s “Road to Healthy Skin Tour” presented by Aveeno and Rite Aid, making 80 stops across the country — many of them local Rite Aid stores — to provide early detection services to thousands of people. At each stop, local board-certified dermatologists will conduct free full-body skin cancer screenings on a 38-ft. customized RV in one of two private rooms. Educational materials that explain how to perform monthly skin checks at home and the proper ways to protect the skin from the sun on a daily basis also are provided, along with sunscreen samples, coupons and other useful information.

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Barnes & Noble launches blog to help parents encourage reading

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble announced the debut of the Letter Blocks blog on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com). Letter Blocks (www.bn.com/letterblocks) offers advice and family-friendly recommendations, enlightening and heart-warming stories about young readers and insights from some of today’s top writers.

Through August, Letter Blocks will focus on summer reading for kids, with guest blogs from authors and reading-minded celebrities. The Letter Blocks summer reading series is an extension of Barnes & Noble’s 2009 Summer Reading Program, which promotes reading outside the classroom and rewards children for reading during the summer months. Celebrity guest bloggers will contribute narratives covering a wide range of topics, including memories about the first books they read, important reading milestones, their favorite children’s books and how they influenced them and how they get their own children to read.

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