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Dollar Tree Adds to Frozen, Refrigerated Assortment

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree here said Wednesday it plans to continue to install freezers and coolers at additional stores this year “because frozen and refrigerated product drives traffic into our stores.”

The company offers perishables and frozen foods at 2,220 stores — about half of its 4,351 total — including refrigeration installations at 376 stores in 2011, with 325 more installations set for this year at new and remodeled units, Kevin S. Wampler, chief financial officer, told analysts during a conference call to discuss financial results for the year and fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 28.

Net income for the quarter rose 15.6% to $187.9 million, while sales increased 12.7% to $1.9 billion and comparable store sales jumped 7.3% — the largest comp increase since 1999, the company noted. For the year net income climbed 22.9% to $488.3 million, while sales rose 12.7% to a record $6.6 billion and comps increased 6%.

Dollar Tree’s mix of consumables rose about 130 basis points for the year, Wampler pointed out, “though it was a little higher than that in the fourth quarter. Our customer obviously is looking for those basic everyday consumables, and that part of our business is comping a little faster than our variety business, but the mix works very well.”

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