Fred’s closures point to severe retail sector weakness across the nation. Some business analysts call it a retail apocalypse.
On Friday, Memphis-based discounter Fred’s announced it will close another 129 stores across the South, bringing its total store closures this year to 441. With only 80 stores left, things are looking grim for the chain.
This latest round of closures includes another 35 stores in Mississippi leaving only nine stores open in the state. (See the list at the end of this article.) Closures elsewhere include 19 stores in Tennessee, 16 in Arkansas, 14 in Georgia, 13 in Arkansas and 12 in Louisiana.
The company says its remaining pharmacies will stay open. Fred’s said in a statement that it would hold “inventory clearance sales across all stores in an effort to refocus its product mix, simplify its store portfolio and repay debt.”
The fate of Fred’s has been uncertain since the company’s plans to merge with pharmacy giants Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid collapsed in late June 2017 due to federal anti-trust concerns, Business Insider reports. In the wake of that collapsed deal, Fred’s had no alternative plan for growth.
“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,” Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said in a statement.
At the beginning of this year, experts saw a continuation of closures in the retail space that began several years ago. Business Insider reported that retailers closed a record 102 million square feet of store space in 2017, then smashed that record in 2018 by closing another 155 million square feet, according to estimates by the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.
Along with Fred’s, which had 568 stores in 15 states as of Feb. 2, the list of closures expected at the beginning of the year was more than 7,500 stores long. It has since ballooned to more than 12,000 stores in recent reports. Closures include all of Payless ShoeSource’s 2,500 stores, 850 Gymboree stores, 650- Dress Barn stores and many more.
Latest Fred’s stores closing in Mississippi
- Baldwyn: 441 N Fourth St.
- Bay Springs: 2675 Hwy 15
- Belzoni: 520 North Hayden St.
- Bruce: 403 W. Calhoun St.
- Canton: 229 North Union
- Carthage: 300 South Pearle St.
- Centreville: 456 Hwy 24
- Charleston: 304 W Main St.
- Clarksdale: 236 Desoto Ave
- Collins: 1211 South Fir Ave
- Dekalb: 14916 Sr-16
- Eupora: 300 Sr-9
- Flora: 101 Mansker Dr.
- Fulton: 1409 Adams St.
- Greenwood: 2616 Hwy 82 E.
- Iuka: 615 Hwy 25 South
- Jackson Old Canton: 6230 Old Canton Rd
- Leakesville: 951 Main St.
- Louisvillle: 502 South Church
- Marks: 1039 Martin Luther King Dr.
- McComb: 1618 Delaware Ave
- Mendenhall: 3050 Simpson, Hwy 13
- Monticello: 1509 Broad St. W.
- Natchez: 31 Sgt Prentiss Dr.
- New Albany: 126 W. Main St.
- Poplarville: 1388 South Main St.
- Prentiss: 1635 Columbia Ave
- Purvis: 509 Hwy 589
- Saltillo: 111 Willow Brook Dr.
- Southaven: 710 Church Road
- Southaven: 2110 Goodman Road E.
- Sumrall: 4233 Rocky Branch Road
- Tunica: 1038 Us 61
- Water Valley: 409 Duncan St.
- Winona: 603 Middleton Rd
Mississippi stores remaining open for now:
- Batesville: 475 Hwy. 6 E.
- Booneville: 504 N. 2nd St.
- Byhalia: 15 E. Stonewall Rd.
- Kosciusko: 340 Sr-12
- Morton: 5186 Hwy. 80 E.
- Nettleton: 7122 Will Robbins Hwy.
- Olive Branch: 7105 Cockrum St.
- Pontotoc: 170 Highway 15 N.
- Ripley: 706 City Ave. N.
You can see the full list of Fred’s closures announced Friday here.See a typo? Report it here.