COVINGTON, Ga. - Fred's Inc. announced last week that the company will close 159 stores across the country, including the Covington location on Highway 278.
“Fred’s decision to close underperforming stores follows a comprehensive evaluation of the company’s store portfolio, including historical and recent store performance and the timing of lease expirations, among other factors,” according to a statement.
The stores are expected to be closed by the end of May and liquidation sales are underway.
Fred's currently operates 557 stores in 13 states. The closing stores represent 29% of all Fred's stores with Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee losing the most.
"After a careful review, we have made the decision to rationalize our footprint by closing underperforming stores, with a particular focus on locations with shorter duration leases," Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said in a statement. "Most of these stores have near‐term lease expirations and limited remaining lease obligations."
Fred's said it’s hired investment banking advisory firm PJ Solomon to assess its options "to maximize value." It’s hired Malfitano Advisors and SB360 Capital Partners to help with liquidation.