Fred's store

Fred’s is closing another 49 underperforming stores, the struggling retailer announced late Friday.

Seventeen of the stores are in the Magnolia State, including four locations in Northeast Mississippi: Calhoun City, Houston, Mantachie and Okolona.

The announcement comes after the company said it would close a total of 264 stores in April and May. The third round of closures will leave the company with 244 stores.

The store closures affect eight states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. According to Fred’s, the pharmacies located inside the closed stores will remain open.

“Fred’s decision to close additional underperforming stores follows a continued evaluation of the Company’s store portfolio, including historical and recent store performance and the timing of lease expirations, among other factors,” the company said in a statement.

Last week, Fred’s also announced its first-quarter sales were $319 million, a drop of 5.2 percent from $336.4 million a year earlier. The company said the decline was primarily the result of “weak sales of consumables caused by the reduction in store traffic due to out-of-stock issues in certain product categories.”

Fred’s gross profit fell 16.2 percent during the quarter, from $89.1 million last year to $74.6 million this year. A key retail metric – comparable store sales – fell 8.5 percent.

The liquidation of the store locations is being handled by SB360 Capital Partners, which said the 105 stores that Fred’s announced it was closing in May will wrap up liquidation sales and close over the next week.

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