CHESAPEAKE, Va. --
A tendency among lower-income shoppers to make frequent fill-in shopping trips is driving the success of expanded food offerings at Family Dollar Stores, Howard R. Levine, chief executive officer, said in a conference call Thursday. According to Levine, Family Dollar in February began rolling out quick-prep and ready-to-eat offerings in addition to items already available in coolers at its stores. The expanded food sections are currently in 2,000 locations, said Levine, who added that coolers are in 4,000 stores. “Our research indicates that our customers spend a significant percentage of their discretionary income on food purchases,” he said. “Because of cash flow and home storage capacity constraints, lower-end consumers are more likely to make more fill-in trips than higher-income consumers.” Levine made his remarks while reviewing financial results for the second quarter that ended March 3. Net income of $90.5 million for the 14-week quarter improved by 13% as compared to the 13-week quarter a year ago, excluding special charges. Sales increased 12.2% and comparable-store sales increased by 0.4%.