MATTHEWS, N.C. — Shoppers seeking values in a tough economy helped raise sales, earnings and market share for Family Dollar Stores, the discounter here said last week. The chain said net earnings during the fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, increased 14.1% to $59.3 million on sales of $1.8 billion. Sales improved by 4.2% compared with the same period a year ago. Profit as a percentage of sales increased to 35%, as the chain had fewer markdowns, higher mark-ups and reduced rates of ...

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