Family Dollar to close stores

PARKERSBURG – Family Dollar is announcing it is closing 370 stores nationwide, but it is not known if any of those stores will be in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The discount retail chain announced Thursday that sales were down and steps would be taken.

“Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations,” Howard R. Levine, chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “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.”

Levine said they were not pleased with the results and were initiating “an in-depth business review to identify opportunities to strengthen our value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance.”

To start with, they will be lowering prices on about 1,000 basic items, cutting their workforce and closing under performing stores.

”Once complete, our workforce reduction efforts and store closures are expected to result in $40 million to $45 million of annualized operating profit benefit, beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2014,” Levine said. ”Lastly, we intend to slow new store growth beginning in fiscal 2015 to improve our return on investment.

”We are confident that these steps will position Family Dollar to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders.”

In contacting company officials to see if any of the store closings might happen locally, Bryn R. Winburn, Public & Media Relations Manager for Family Dollar said the list of stores impacted is still being compiled.

”The company is working to finalize the store closure plan and will disclose information on impacted locations at the appropriate time,” he said.