Fred’s Inc. this morning announced the impending closure of 159 of its 557 discount stores, including locations in Gallatin, Portland, and Hartsville.
According to the announcement, Fred’s has “retained PJ Solomon to advise it in connection with a review of strategic alternatives to maximize value for all shareholders. The review will include a thorough evaluation of the Company’s current operating plan, as well as all other potential alternatives to maximize value.”
PJ Solomon is a financial advisory firm and investment bank.
Joseph Anto, Fred’s chief executive officer, said in a press release: “After a careful review, we have made the decision to rationalize our footprint by closing underperforming stores, with a particular focus on locations with shorter duration leases. Most of these stores have near-term lease expirations and limited remaining lease obligations. Decisions that impact our associates in this way are difficult, but the steps we are announcing are necessary. We will make every effort to transition impacted associates to other stores where possible.”
Liquidation sales at the 159 stores currently designated for closure will begin today while the Company’s 398 other stores will remain open.
In September 2018, Fred’s announced that it had reached an agreement with Walgreens to sell the pharmacy patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory of 179 Fred’s stores located across 10 Southeastern states; the transaction closed in the Company’s fourth fiscal quarter. The move was part of a previously announced plan to “unlock shareholder value by monetizing noncore assets,” the press release said.
The Gallatin store is at 420 W. Main St., the Portland store is at 114 W. Knight St., and the Hartsville store is at 230 Broadway.
Other Tennessee stores to be closed are in Clarksville, Lebanon, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Woodbury, Dayton, Decherd, Jasper, Newport, Brownsville, Collierville, Dyersburg, Memphis (2 locations), Paris, Jackson, Medina, Selmer, Mt. Pleasant and Pulaski.