Fred's to Close Another 14 Stores in Georgia
Monday, July 15th, 2019
Fred's, Inc. announced that it will close an additional 129 retail stores and hold inventory clearance sales across all stores in an effort to refocus its product mix, simplify its store portfolio and repay debt.
Following the planned 129 closures, Fred's will have approximately 80 retail stores remaining, centered primarily around the Company's distribution center in Dublin, GA. Lists of stores that will be closed and that will remain open are included below. Fred's may evaluate re-launching certain closed stores in the future under a new operating model, with an updated assortment. The Company expects the proceeds from the inventory clearance sales will be used to repay outstanding indebtedness under its revolving credit agreement.
All pharmacies (including the 69 within the 129 stores referenced above) will remain open and the Company will continue to fulfill prescriptions at its pharmacy locations, as it continues to pursue the sale of its remaining pharmacy locations and opportunities to monetize pieces of its real estate portfolio. The Company currently operates 166 pharmacies.
Joseph Anto, Fred's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "While it is never easy to make decisions that impact our valued employees and customers, this initiative represents another necessary step in our continued efforts to stabilize our business by simplifying our store portfolio and product assortment."
Mr. Anto continued, "We are pleased to present our loyal customers the unique and compelling opportunity to purchase heavily discounted items for a limited time. We encourage shoppers to take advantage of these unmatched deals, and stock up on items that may be permanently removed from Fred's shelves, come August."
Fred's has partnered with Malfitano Advisors, LLC and SB360 Capital Partners to help manage the clearance sale process.