US-based discount store chain Fred’s is planning to close an additional 49 stores in an ongoing effort to optimise its store footprint.

Impacted stores are located across various states including Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky.

In a statement, the company said: “Fred’s decision to close additional underperforming stores follows a continued evaluation of the company’s store portfolio, including historical and recent store performance and the timing of lease expirations, among other factors.”

This fresh round of closures follows last month’s announcement by the retailer to close 104 underperforming stores by the end of this month.

In April this year, the company said that it will close 159 underperforming and unprofitable stores, amounting to 30% of its 557 stores.

However, the company will continue operating its pharmacies across the 49 locations allowing customers to fill their prescriptions, receive vaccinations, and purchase over the counter (OTC) medications.

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In addition, the discount store chain will continue Malfitano Advisors and SB360 Capital Partners as its partners to manage the closures.

In a separate statement, SB360 Capital noted that it is acting as the exclusive consultant to conduct store closing sales at the additional stores.

The company has been working with Fred’s management, market leaders, and store teams to conduct store closing sales since April this year.

Furthermore, the company will wrap up sales and close 105 Fred’s stores of the recently announced closures over the next week.

SB360 executive vice-president Ziggy Schaffer said: “As we saw in the prior Fred’s closing stores, sales are always brisk, and the shelves empty quickly.

“Fred’s stores offer good day-in, day-out value on everyday necessities, and with discounts on top of good prices, shoppers buy in bulk.”