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.