Fred’s to shutter 159 locations and downsize offerings

In a press release, the discount retail chain said the store closings are happening as it ‘evaluate[s] strategic alternatives to maximize value.’

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On Thursday, the retailer announced that it’s closing almost 30% of its stores by the end of May and immediately launching “going out of business” sales to liquidate merchandise.

On Thursday, the retailer announced that it will shutter at least 159 underperforming stores in locations across 13 states, with the largest amount in Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.

USA Today reported:

In 2017, a deal for Fred’s to acquire hundreds of Rite Aid or Walgreens stores collapsed when a mega-merger between the pharmacy giants deteriorated.

Months later, Fred’s announced it was considering “strategic transactions and alternatives for certain non-core assets,” including real estate and specialty pharmacy business.

Last September, Fred’s reached an agreement to sell the pharmacy patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory of 179 Fred’s stores located across 10 southeastern states to Walgreens for $165 million.

With Thursday’s announcement, Fred’s said it is “continuing to pursue the sale of its remaining pharmacy assets as part of its previously announced plan.”

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