MATTHEWS, N.C. --
Family Dollar Stores here will accelerate the rollout of an expanded selection of shelf-stable foods “focusing on quick-prep and ready-to-eat products,” the company said in a conference call with investors yesterday discussing its first-quarter results. “As we began looking at finalizing the rollout and the implementation, as well as the positive results that we achieve, we decided to go ahead and add additional stores to this year's plan,” said Howard Levine, chairman and chief executive officer. He said the company would have the expanded assortment available in about 2,000 stores by the end of its fiscal year next August. The company also expects to have coolers in 5,000 of its stores by year-end. In the first quarter ended Nov. 25, the company reported preliminary net income of $54.4 million, up 5.8% over year-ago results. Sales also grew 5.8%, to $1.6 billion. The company said the results are preliminary because of a previously announced review of its stock-option grant policies.