REAL ESTATE

Fred’s to close more stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Fred’s Inc. has announced its third round of store closings.

The embattled discounter announced it is closing an additional 49 stores, with going-out-of-business sales underway as of June 21. The pharmacies in the locations will remain open.

This is Fred’s third round of store closings since April. The chain has announced the closure of a total of 263 stores during the past two months. After the combined 313 closures, representing 56% of the company, Fred’s will be left with some 244 stores.

“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,” Fred’s said in a statement.

In May, 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,” Joseph Anto, CEO, Fred’s, said 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 its store closing sales.

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