DayBreaker

Fred’s closing more stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Fred’s is launching a new wave of store closures on the heels of plummeting sales in its fourth quarter.

The struggling Memphis-based retailer said it will close an additional 104 underperforming locations in the Southeast by the end of June as part of an ongoing effort to “rationalize its store footprint.” Liquidation sales at the stores started on May 16. (For a list of the 104 stores, click here.)

In April, Fred’s announced plans to shutter 159 locations — nearly 30% of its store fleet — by the end of May as part of its plan to turn around its ailing business. The closing of the additional locations at the end of June will leave Fred’s with approximately 294 stores.

“These additional store closures are a difficult, but necessary step in the continued restructuring of Fred’s,” said Joseph Anto, CEO, Fred’s.

Earlier this month, Fred’s reported that net sales in its fourth quarter fell 17.2% to $307.1 million; same-store sales were down 9.7%.

“This is clearly a challenging time for the company and we are disappointed with our operating results for the quarter and fiscal year,” said Anto in a statement at that time. “We are working to optimize our store footprint, cost structure and operating model, while also addressing concerns regarding our liquidity profile.”

Fred’s has retained SB360 Capital Partners as the exclusive consultant to conduct the store closing sales in its new round of store closures. The firm is also conducting the liquidation sales in its previously announced round of 159 locations, which will wrap up business during the next week to 10 days.

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