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.”
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.