Family Dollar to slash jobs, shutter over 300 stores

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SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons (Family Dollar in Grady County. Michael Rivera)

MATTHEWS, N.C. (WTVR) — Family Dollar Stores, Inc. announced Thursday that it would cut jobs and close at least 370 struggling stores after second quarter sales were down compared to last year.

Comparable store sales were down 3.8 percent and second quarter fiscal 2014 sales fell to $2.7 billion compared to $2.9 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons (Family Dollar in Grady County. Michael Rivera)

SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons (Family Dollar in Grady County, Georgia Michael Rivera)

The company attributed some of the slump to the harsh winter weather that blanketed much of the nation.

“Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations,” Family Dollar Chairman and CEO Howard R. Levine said in a statement. “The 2013 holiday season was challenged by a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer. In addition, like many retailers, our second quarter results were significantly impacted by severe winter weather, which resulted in numerous store closings, disrupted merchandise deliveries and higher than expected utility and store maintenance expenses.”

Additionally, the discount chain is implementing an “in-depth business review” to improve efficiencies and find new ways to strengthen the stores’ “value proposition.”

The main part of the plan includes reducing labor costs by restructuring and trimming the chain’s workforce, in addition to closing about 370 of the chain’s 8,100 stores.

The chain said another part includes lowering prices on about 1,000 basic items.