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VOL. 129 | NO. 169 | Friday, August 29, 2014

Fred's to Close 60 Stores

By Andy Meek

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Memphis-based general merchandise retailer Fred's has decided to close 60 of its stores that don't have a pharmacy and that don't meet performance targets, as the chain continues to place more emphasis on its pharmacy offerings.

Fred's CEO Bruce Efird said today the decision, announced the same day Fred's reported a second quarter marked by a net loss of $16.4 million, came as a result of a deep analysis the chain undertook in January.

It was a look at the entirety of the organization, he said, "with a recognition that retail will not continue with business as usual."

"In the course of this evaluation, the go-forward convenience/pharmacy-centric store model emerged from the input of management, consultants, marketing teams and other market studies," Efird said.

Much of the shift stems from dynamic challenges Fred's found that surfaced in the fourth quarter and have lingered. Among other features of its plan to address those challenges, Fred's will:

- Implement a new marketing program.

- Expand leadership throughout the organization especially around merchandise sourcing, store operations and information technology.

- Put new data-drive inventory and category-management tools and metrics in place.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 91 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

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