Fred’s Retains PJ Solomon to Evaluate Strategic Alternatives to Maximize Value
Source: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire / 11 Apr 2019 08:34:34 America/New_York
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.
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.
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.
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