US-based discount store chain Fred’s is planning to close an additional 129 retail stores, in an on-going effort to refocus its product mix, simplify its store portfolio and repay debt.
Impacted stores are located in several states, including Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Los Angeles, North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois and Texas.
The retailer will hold a inventory clearance sales across all stores and expects to use the proceeds to repay outstanding indebtedness under its revolving credit agreement.
Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said: “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 stabilise our business by simplifying our store portfolio and product assortment.
“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.”
Following this move, the company will have nearly 80 retail stores in operation, primarily around its distribution centre in Dublin, Georgia.
These stores are located across various states, including Georgia, Los Angeles, NC, SC, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Indiana.
Fred’s is also planning to evaluate the re-launch of some of its closed stores in the future. This move will be considered under a new operating model.
All pharmacies operated by the retailer will remain open and will continue to fulfil prescriptions. It will also continue to pursue the sale of its remaining pharmacy locations.
Malfitano Advisors and SB360 Capital Partners will help manage the clearance sale process.
Last month, Fred’s announced plans to close an additional 49 stores.