By: Jamie L. Harris
Being from a small town in Western Kentucky, Fred’s retail discount stores have been a staple in small town consumerism. Fred’s was one of my parents’ favorite bargain shopping stores. I was really disheartened to hear that the company would be liquidating its remaining 300 stores through the chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Monday and will seek bankruptcy court approval for up to $35 million dollars in financing to fund the orderly liquidation of its remaining stores.
For anyone not familiar with Fred’s, this chain of small stores is comparable to Dollar General and sells products such as food, clothing, household supplies, and garden supplies. The discount pricing at Fred’s is very competitive and the store is known in smaller communities for those great bargains. Fred’s has stores in several states including Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Fred’s has had financial woes for several years as it has reported annual losses since 2015. Despite already closing a significant number of stores, the company has been unable to turnaround its operations. The chapter 11 process will allow the company to orderly liquidate its remaining stores. Fred’s is among several retailers that have recently opted for chapter 11 protection. Whether it is high end retail like Barney’s or bargain discounts like Fred’s, no retailer is immune from the volatility of the retail industry, changing market conditions and consumer trends.
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