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CST: 22/04/2019 17:13:13   

Fred’s Retains PJ Solomon to Evaluate Strategic Alternatives to Maximize Value

11 Days ago

Company to Rationalize Store Footprint by Closing Underperforming Stores

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today announced the retention of PJ Solomon to evaluate strategic alternatives to maximize value for all shareholders.  The Company also announced that it will begin to close underperforming and unprofitable stores.

Strategic Alternatives Review
Fred’s has retained PJ Solomon to advise it in connection with a review of strategic alternatives to maximize value for all shareholders.  The review will include a thorough evaluation of the Company's current operating plan, as well as all other potential alternatives to maximize value.

There can be no assurance that the strategic review will result in any specific action, or any assurance as to its outcome or timing. The Company does not intend to discuss or disclose further developments related to its review unless and until the Board has approved a specific action or otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate, or if disclosure is required by applicable law.

Store Closures
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.  Liquidation sales at the 159 stores currently designated for closure will begin today while the Company’s 398 other stores will remain open. 

Joseph Anto, Fred’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “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.  Most of these stores have near-term lease expirations and limited remaining lease obligations.  Decisions that impact our associates in this way are difficult, but the steps we are announcing are necessary.  We will make every effort to transition impacted associates to other stores where possible.”

Fred’s intends to close all 159 impacted stores by the end of May 2019.  Fred’s has partnered with Malfitano Advisors, LLC and SB360 Capital Partners to help manage the process and ensure a seamless experience for customers.  A list of impacted stores may be found at the end of this release.

Pharmacy Sales
Fred’s is also continuing to pursue the sale of its remaining pharmacy assets as part of its previously announced plan to unlock shareholder value by monetizing noncore assets.  In September 2018, Fred’s announced that it had reached an agreement with Walgreens to sell the pharmacy patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory of 179 Fred’s stores located across 10 Southeastern states; the transaction closed in the Company’s fourth fiscal quarter.

About Fred’s Inc.
Since 1947, Fred’s, Inc. has been an integral part of the communities it serves throughout the southeastern United States. Today, Fred’s operates 557 discount value stores and its mission is to make it easy AND exciting to save money. Its unique format offers customers a full range of value-priced everyday items, along with terrific deals on closeout merchandise throughout the store. For more information about the Company, visit Fred’s website at www.fredsinc.com.

Forward Looking Statement
Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical facts or they use such words as “outlook,” “guidance,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “objective,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “committed,” “continue,” or “will likely result” and similar expressions that concern the Company’s strategy, plans, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, the Company’s plans, objectives, business outlook, priorities, expectations and intentions, expectations for sales growth, comparable sales, earnings and performance, shareholder value, capital expenditures, cash flows, demand for products, share repurchases, strategic initiatives, including those relating to store closures and acquisitions and dispositions by the Company and the expected impact of such transactions on our strategic and operational plans and financial results, and any statement of an assumption underlying any of the foregoing and other statements that are not historical facts. Although we believe that the expectations, opinions, projections and comments reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and we can give no assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. A wide variety of potential risks, uncertainties and other factors could materially affect our ability to achieve the results either expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements including, but not limited to risks and uncertainties associated with: (i) the competitive nature of the industries in which we operate; (ii) our turnaround plan and the implementation of our strategic initiatives, and their impact on our sales, costs and operations; (iii) our store closures and the related sales of inventory and real estate issues; (iv) our divestitures; (v) utilizing our existing and new stores and the extent of our pharmacy department presence in new and existing stores; (vi) conditions affecting the retail sector as a whole; (vii) our reliance on a single supplier of pharmaceutical products; (viii) our pharmaceutical drug pricing; (ix) reimbursement rates and the terms of our agreements with pharmacy benefit management companies; (x) consolidation in the healthcare industry; (xi)  our private brands; (xii) the seasonality of our business and the impact of adverse weather conditions; (xiii) operational, supply chain and distribution difficulties; (xiv) merchandise supply and pricing; (xv) consumer demand and product mix; (xvi) delayed openings and operating new stores and distribution facilities; (xvii) our employees; (xviii) risks relating to payment processing; (xix) our computer systems, and the processes supported by our information technology infrastructure; (xx) our ability to protect the personal information of our customers and employees; (xxi) cyber-attacks; (xxii) changes in governmental regulations; (xxiii) the outcome of legal proceedings, including claims of product liability; (xxiv) insurance costs; (xxv) tax assessments and unclaimed property audits; (xxvi) current economic conditions;  (xxvii) our indebtedness and our ability to satisfy our debt obligations; (xxviii) the terms of our existing and future indebtedness, including the covenants set forth in the documents governing such indebtedness; (xxix) any acquisitions we may pursue and the ability to effectively integrate businesses that we acquire; (xxx) our ability to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting; (xxxi) our largest stockholder holding a significant percentage of our outstanding equity; (xxxii) our ability to pay dividends and/or repurchase shares of our Class A voting common stock; (xxxiii) our ability to attract and retain talented executives; (xxxiv) any strategic alternatives that we decide to pursue, if any; and (xxxv) the factors listed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. The Company undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts
Fred’s Inc:
Jen Ehlers
817-369-5772
jen.ehlers@fredsinc.com

LIST OF STORE LOCATIONS TO BE CLOSED

ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP
3056 ALLISON BONNETT MEMORIAL DR HUEYTOWN AL 35023
13254 HWY 411 BRANCHVILLE AL 35120
212 W FORT WILLIAMS ST SYLACAUGA AL 35150
65364 HWY 77 TALLADEGA AL 35160
1683 CENTER POINT PKWY CENTER POINT AL 35215
3317 LORNA RD HOOVER AL 35216
321 N COURT ST FLORENCE AL 35630
4150 FLORENCE BLVD FLORENCE AL 35634
13150 HIGHWAY 43 RUSSELLVILLE AL 35653
1401 WOODMONT DR TUSCUMBIA AL 35674
710 CHEROKEE PLZ CENTRE AL 35960
1477 SUNSET DR GUNTERSVILLE AL 35976
1544 GREENBRIER LN ANNISTON AL 36207
3077 HIGHWAY 431 ROANOKE AL 36274
621 BOLL WEEVIL CIR ENTERPRISE AL 36330
1318 S HIGHWAY 21 BYP MONROEVILLE AL 36460
1200 N MCKENZIE STREET FOLEY AL 36535
1549 HIGHWAY 5 S MARION AL 36756
622 CHERRY DR LANETT AL 36863
430 S BRADLEY AVE EL DORADO AR 71730
535 N HERVEY ST HOPE AR 71801
1426 W 1ST ST N PRESCOTT AR 71857
1110 E ANTIGO ST STAMPS AR 71860
1201 HIGHWAY 71 S MENA AR 71953
3395 HIGHWAY 5 N BRYANT AR 72019
207 S 2ND ST CABOT AR 72023
245 OAK ST CONWAY AR 72032
1125 MORNINGSIDE DR CONWAY AR 72034
1705 MALCOLM AVE NEWPORT AR 72112
2706 E RACE AVE SEARCY AR 72143
606 E BROADWAY ST WEST MEMPHIS AR 72301
2227 N WASHINGTON ST FORREST CITY AR 72335
1324 W KEISER AVE OSCEOLA AR 72370
2308 S CARAWAY RD JONESBORO AR 72401
1723 W KINGSHIGHWAY PARAGOULD AR 72450
617 HIGHWAY 62 65 N HARRISON AR 72601
509 HWY 62 E. MOUNTAIN HOME AR 72653
3303 W MAIN PL RUSSELLVILLE AR 72801
6179 HIGHWAY 278 NE COVINGTON GA 30014
550 N MAIN ST CEDARTOWN GA 30125
970 E CHURCH ST JASPER GA 30143
1916 REDMOND CIR NW ROME GA 30165
790 VETERANS PKWY BARNESVILLE GA 30204
1550 S. ZACH HINTON PKWY MCDONOUGH GA 30253
94 UPPER RIVERDALE RD SW RIVERDALE GA 30274
9215 HIGHWAY 19 N ZEBULON GA 30295
501 S MAIN ST SWAINSBORO GA 30401
156 WANDERWAY DR CLEVELAND GA 30528
7230 HIGHWAY 441 N DILLARD GA 30537
411 SMITH ST ROYSTON GA 30662
325 CURTIS PKWY SE CALHOUN GA 30701
1426 WEST 1ST NORTH RINGGOLD GA 30736
3593 CHATTANOOGA RD TUNNEL HILL GA 30755
102 E 14TH AVE CORDELE GA 31015
767 VETERANS PARKWAY HINESVILLE GA 31313
5485 NEW JESUP HWY BRUNSWICK GA 31523
925 E KING AVE KINGSLAND GA 31548
1014 S HUTCHINSON AVE ADEL GA 31620
1315 W SCREVEN ST QUITMAN GA 31643
500 US HIGHWAY 19 S CAMILLA GA 31730
2730 E PINETREE BLVD THOMASVILLE GA 31792
1602 E SHOTWELL ST BAINBRIDGE GA 39819
800 COLUMBIA RD BLAKELY GA 39823
215 BAILEY LN BENTON IL 62812
928 S 12TH ST MURRAY KY 42071
3129 CANTON PIKE HOPKINSVILLE KY 42240
300 HWY 62 W PRINCETON KY 42445
2385 LAKEWAY DR RUSSELL SPRINGS KY 42642
125 HWY 51 NORTH HAMMOND LA 70401
2490 W CONGRESS ST LAFAYETTE LA 70506
806 VETERANS DR CARENCRO LA 70520
1801 WEST MAIN STREET FRANKLIN LA 70538
1114 SOUTH MAIN STREET ST. MARTINVILLE LA 70582
1514 SAMPSON STREET WESTLAKE LA 70669
228 W HIGHWAY 30 GONZALES LA 70737
10710 GREENWELL SPRINGS ROAD BATON ROUGE LA 70814
5907 OLD MOORINGSPORT ROAD SHREVEPORT LA 71107
5751 SHED RD BOSSIER CITY LA 71111
2350 STERLINGTON RD MONROE LA 71203
310 E MAIN ST JONESBORO LA 71251
4628 HIGHWAY 28 E PINEVILLE LA 71360
400 DIXIE PLZ NATCHITOCHES LA 71457
121A SOUTH SPRIGG STREET CAPE GIRARDEAU MO 63701
441 HIGHWAY 53 POPLAR BLUFF MO 63901
626 22ND AVE S MERIDIAN MS 0
520 CENTRAL AVE COLDWATER MS 38618
148 W VAN DORN AVE HOLLY SPRINGS MS 38635
3031 GOODMAN RD W HORN LAKE MS 38637
1600 S COLORADO ST GREENVILLE MS 38703
7616 HIGHWAY 80 GREENVILLE MS 38703
306 E SUNFLOWER RD CLEVELAND MS 38732
302 NORTH MAIN ST. LELAND MS 38756
809 VARSITY DR TUPELO MS 38801
1776 MCCULLOUGH BLVD TUPELO MS 38801
813 W PARK AVE GREENWOOD MS 38930
2932 HIGHWAY 49 S FLORENCE MS 39073
237 WOODLAND DR FOREST MS 39074
1700 SIMPSON HWY MAGEE MS 39111
422 W CUNNINGHAM AVE TERRY MS 39170
1200 JERRY CLOWER BLVD YAZOO CITY MS 39194
540 RAYMOND RD JACKSON MS 39204
225 MEADOWBROOK RD JACKSON MS 39206
235 GEORGE WALLACE DR PEARL MS 39208
7261 S SIWELL RD BYRAM MS 39272
714 PECAN AVE PHILADELPHIA MS 39350
1000 BROADWAY DR HATTIESBURG MS 39401
HWY 13 NORTHGATE S/C COLUMBIA MS 39429
1693 HIGHWAY 90 GAUTIER MS 39553
3176 BIENVILLE BLVD OCEAN SPRINGS MS 39564
2511 INGALLS AVE PASCAGOULA MS 39567
218 S WHITWORTH AVE BROOKHAVEN MS 39601
304 5TH ST S COLUMBUS MS 39701
201 G ALABAMA ST COLUMBUS MS 39702
107 N MERIDIAN ST ABERDEEN MS 39730
26591 E MAIN ST WEST POINT MS 39773
988 ERWIN RD. DUNN NC 28334
1155 N MAIN ST MARION NC 28752
11931 S 226 HWY SPRUCE PINE NC 28777
700 E CHEROKEE ST WAGONER OK 74467
1180 FIVE CHOP RD ORANGEBURG SC 29115
105 B JACOBS HWY CLINTON SC 29325
213 W RUTHERFORD ST LANDRUM SC 29356
119 COLLEGE PARK RD LADSON SC 29456
122 E SHOCKY FERRY RD ANDERSON SC 29624
4905 EMERSON ST HODGES SC 29653
9710 HIGHWAY 81 S IVA SC 29655
315 W FRONT ST LIBERTY SC 29657
310 HAMPTON AVE PICKENS SC 29671
109 CESTRAIN SQ CHESTER SC 29706
401 W MARTINTOWN RD NORTH AUGUSTA SC 29841
390 HIGHWAY 149 CLARKSVILLE TN 37040
420 W MAIN ST GALLATIN TN 37066
230 BROADWAY HARTSVILLE TN 37074
230 E GAY ST LEBANON TN 37087
912 N CHANCERY ST MCMINNVILLE TN 37110
1664 MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLVD MURFREESBORO TN 37130
114 W KNIGHT ST PORTLAND TN 37148
1130 S MCCRARY ST WOODBURY TN 37190
260 16TH AVE DAYTON TN 37321
1755 DECHERD BLVD DECHERD TN 37324
3600 MAIN ST JASPER TN 37347
122 FIVE RIVERS PLAZA WAY NEWPORT TN 37821
337 E MAIN ST BROWNSVILLE TN 38012
450 HWY 72 WEST COLLIERVILLE TN 38017
805 PENNELL LN DYERSBURG TN 38024
4280 GETWELL RD MEMPHIS TN 38118
5016 OLD SUMMER RD MEMPHIS TN 38122
850 VOLUNTEER DR PARIS TN 38242
1688 S HIGHLAND AVE JACKSON TN 38301
211 THREE OAKS DRIVE MEDINA TN 38355
399 MULBERRY AVE SELMER TN 38375
700 NORTH MAIN STREET MT. PLEASANT TN 38474
1670 W COLLEGE ST PULASKI TN 38478
601 BROADWAY AVE GLADEWATER TX 75647
605 N HENDERSON BLVD KILGORE TX 75662
1803 E GENTRY PKWY TYLER TX 75702
1601 S MAIN ST LINDALE TX 75771
1123 STATE HIGHWAY 110 N WHITEHOUSE TX 75791
1000 S MAIN ST MC GREGOR TX 76657

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