Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 25, 2015 • 09:00 am ET
earnings per diluted share was a record $3.12, an increase of 14.7% compared with $2.72 per diluted share last year. I'm extremely proud of our team's performance in the fourth quarter and throughout 2014. We have great momentum in our business as we serve our very loyal and growing customer base. In fact in 2014, for the first time in company's history, we exceeded 1 billion customer transactions in a year.
Our results continue to validate that Dollar Tree is part of the solution for millions of consumers as they strive to balance their household budgets. Our merchants continue to deliver product that exceeds customer's expectations, and our store teams consistently provide a clean, fun and friendly shopping experience. Our focus continues to be on serving our existing customers' better, while taking every opportunity to gain new customers in every store every day. Our operating margin continues to lead the discount retail sector, while our values are greater than ever and our prices, as always, are just $1 per item.
Our customers know that at Dollar Tree you can splurge, yes, you can afford it at Dollar Tree.
Same-store sales were solid and accelerated throughout the quarter. Performance in the home, seasonal and basics divisions were tightly grouped and our sales increase resulted from strength in both basic consumables and discretionary products. Top performing categories included party supplies, household products and food. Additionally, sales performance in the fourth quarter was relatively consistent across the country with all zones achieving positive same-store sales increases.
Our merchandising teams put together a terrific plan for the fourth quarter and the store teams worked together to execute the plan. Immediately following Halloween, the stores transitioned swiftly for upcoming holidays. When our doors opened on November 1, store presentations boldly communicated Dollar Tree was the go-to store for our customers Thanksgiving and Christmas needs.
In early November, we focused on first-of-the-month consumables including Thanksgiving related foods like Chicken broth, vegetables and soups. We placed emphasis on taking care of the customer needs related to holiday meals with baking basics, mix and bowls, foil pans, turkey basters and food storage containers and we addressed the customers' needs related to holiday entertaining with catering trays, bowls and servings.
Our home for the holiday's promotion featured dinner wear, glass wear, table linens and snack foods like cookies, meds and party mix, all for a dollar. Immediately following Thanksgiving, our stores made a swift transition to holiday decorations, toy land and great gift ideas. This year merchants and stores worked together to build upon last year's introduction of the last 10 days strategy by bringing all of the last minute categories together and re-merchandising the front of the store with a purpose.
Our goal is to be the gift supply headquarters for items like holiday tents, gift bags, tissue, wrapping paper, scissors and tape. If you need to wrap it, bag it, box it or tag it, Dollar Tree is the store for you. In addition to our seasonal