Fred's Discount Store

The rapid decline for Fred’s Inc. is coming to an end. The Tennessee-based discount retailer and pharmacy filed for voluntary relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and will liquidate all stores. The move comes following several waves of closures this year. In January, Fred’s operated 568 stores mostly in the southeastern U.S., but by July that number shrank to around 80. Now, the plug is being pulled.

“Despite our team’s best efforts, we were not able to avoid this outcome,” says Joe Anto, chief executive officer at Fred’s. “I want to thank all of our employees for their hard work and continued support of the company as we wind down our operations.”

Fred's Discount Store - Marvel Ad
Photo: An archived ad showcasing Marvel products at Fred’s.

As was the case with the closure of Shopko earlier this year, impact to the toy industry will be minimal, but Fred’s, like Shopko, was in many cases serving markets in rural locations wit populations of under 15,000.

In the first-day filings, one notable company included is Jakks Pacific. The company is owed $301,146.53 for toys previously delivered to Fred’s.

Companies potentially impacted by the Fred’s liquidation may view the case docket and submit proof of claim via Epiq Cases.

Fred’s was founded in 1947 and is largely known for their pharmacy operations. The company intends to sell the pharmacy portion of the business as part of its Chapter 11 process.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.