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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — This Dec. 7, 2015 photo, shows discount retailer Fred's Pharmacy in Memphis, Tenn. (Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

Fred's will close 159 under-performing and unprofitable stores, including 19 in Arkansas, the Memphis-based drugstore chain announced Thursday.

The Arkansas locations include El Dorado, Hope, Prescott, Stamps, Mena, Bryant, Cabot, Newport, Searcy, West Memphis, Forrest City, Osceola, Jonesboro, Paragould, Harrison, Mountain Home, Conway and Russellville, according to a news release. Both stores in Conway will close.

Liquidation of the stores was scheduled to begin Thursday. All of the affected stores will be closed by the end of next month.

The store closings will leave Arkansas with 41 Fred's locations among the 398 stores in the southeastern United States still operating.

The announcement came as the 72-year-old chain said it is undertaking a review of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.

Read more in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of stores Fred's will close in Arkansas. The company will close 19 stores in the state.


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  • NunyaB
    April 11, 2019 at 1:20 p.m.

    Fred should have listened in the 80's. Lady kept telling him "FRED!, YOUR GIVING AWAY THE STORE!" They need to follow Dollar General and move out of town, away from the business killing Wal-Mart's and sell more food items. People will pay more to drive less.

  • tweedyboy57
    April 11, 2019 at 1:34 p.m.

    nailed it NUNYAB !

  • MaxCady
    April 11, 2019 at 3:34 p.m.

    So how does moving out of town help people drive less?? You mean move to the small towns that don't have a WalMart or Neighborhood.

  • HM2
    April 11, 2019 at 8:02 p.m.

    In a related story, Wal Mart announced today that it is doing away with plastic bags in the near future. Plans are to phase out the plastic bags with reusable cloth bags that they will sell at first for $1.00 each, after a "get used to it period" the price goes up to $4.00 a bag.
    This is great news for seniors who live on a fixed income like my wife and I who buy our groceries once a month and usually get 10 or more bags. We can't afford that Wal Mart! I noticed you can no longed call Bentonville and talk to a human, And we tried to talk with the Bryant store manager and he refused to talk to either my wife or me.
    I'm going to try 7 on your side to see if they can get Wal Mart to change their minds on this terrible policy fixed income people can't afford this, Hey Wal Mart, if you really want us old folks to use these cloth bags; why not GIVE each retired fixed income family the bags they need to get them started instead of extorting the money from them?
    I am so disappointed with this once great store. I'm sure Sam would be proud.

  • wolfman
    April 11, 2019 at 8:48 p.m.

    hmmm ive read 8 stories about your bag conspiracy. they are still going to offer the regular bags. it's your option to purchase the others. Shop elese where. you will find many other alternatives to shopping at walmart. contrary to popular belief, walmarts isn't the cheapest place to buy stuff. It's a mind game, they want you to think that!

  • HM2
    April 11, 2019 at 10:03 p.m.

    Thank you wolfman; but that's just the story I heard on the radio this morning.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    April 11, 2019 at 10:26 p.m.

    Alot like piggly wigglies..
    Sad to see you go Fred.
    Guy like you were sending the Sawyer kids to be nurses and small business owners long before walmart.