Fred’s is closing more than one hundred locations in an effort to pay off outstanding debt.
The Memphis-based discount retailer is shuttering 129 locations, including 16 in Arkansas. During the closures, Fred’s will be having extensive closeout sales, according to reports.
“While it is never easy to make decisions that impact our valued employees and customers, this initiative represents another necessary step in our continued efforts to stabilize our business by simplifying our store portfolio and product assortment,” Joseph Anto, Fred’s CEO, said in a statement.
This is the second major closing that Fred’s has announced in 2019. In April, the company closed 159 stores across the U.S. with 19 located in Arkansas. The cities and towns affected by that closure included Bryant, Cabot, Conway, El Dorado, Forrest City, Harrison, Hope, Jonesboro, Mena, Mountain Home, Newport, Osceola, Paragould, Prescott, Russellville, Searcy, Stamps and West Memphis.
In recent years, Fred’s has struggled to compete in the retail sector. Other retailers have had similar struggles, as a CNBC report notes, with Dressbarn, Pier 1 and other stores closing locations. CNBC cites a Coresight Research study that shows that there have been 7,062 store closings so far in 2019.
Fred’s stock price is currently at $0.41 on the NASDAQ. One year ago, the retailer’s stock was roughly $2.20 (as shown on July 9, 2018). Since 2017, the stock prices have dropped significantly, going from around $14 in April 2017 to $5.92 in August 2017. Prices have steadily dropped since that time.
The following stores will be closing in Arkansas:
- De Queen 808 West Collin Raye Dr.
- Dumas: 611 U.S. 65
- Harrisburg: 1301 North Illinois Ave.
- Holiday Island: #2 Forest Park Ave.
- Lake Village: 1218 U.S. 82
- Manila: 801 South Highway 77
- Marianna: 438 South Alabama St.
- Marked Tree: 103 Dawson St.
- Nashville: 614 South Main St.
- Piggott: 303 East Main St.
- Pine Bluff: 2809 South Camden Road
- Star City: 1309 S. Lincoln St.
- Vilonia: 10 Eagle St.
- Warren: 507 West Pine
- West Helena: Hwy. 49 Twin City S/C
- South Yellville: 320 Hwy. 14
Earlier this week, Fred’s sold its Memphis headquarters, located on Getwell Road. According to the Memphis Business Journal, Olymbec, a real estate rental agency, has purchased the property for $8.25 million. The journal notes that the property includes “a 758,000-square-foot warehouse, a 65,000-square-foot retail building, and two office towers totaling about 224,000 square feet.”