Fred, You're Giving Away the Company!

A number of retailers have their origins in the Mid-South, but perhaps none of them have had quite as much of a roller-coaster ride of a history as Fred's. Fred's was founded in 1947 as a discount store, and soon established headquarters in Memphis. The discount store format, then as now, lends itself well to locating in small towns, so the company leveraged their locations into a new breakthrough: Fred's not only could provide small-town residents with essential general merchandise items, they also could serve as those residents' pharmacist. And so, Fred's Pharmacy was born. The idea certainly has merit, but the execution would falter; over the years, the company seemed to put too much emphasis on its pharmacies over its original - and arguably, its core - competency, being a "Super Dollar" store. An overexpansion planned to take place as a result of the proposed Rite Aid/Walgreens merger was thankfully aborted, but even that couldn't save the company from its downward spiral: in 2018, Fred's sold a sizable chunk of its pharmacy assets to Walgreens, and the following year continued its efforts to stay afloat by liquidating and eliminating over 85 percent of its total store base before ultimately calling it quits, filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing its final 81 locations, going out of business forever.

The list below contains all of the blog's posts documenting local Fred's stores (including those from before the liquidations, as well as those covering the failed Walgreens-Rite Aid merger divestitures), up to July 2023. It will be updated periodically to reflect more recent posts in the series.

December 2016 -- Fred's Becomes America's Third-Largest Pharmacy Chain
March 2017 -- Fred's, Hernando, MS
July 2017 -- Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger Cancelled, Including Sale of Stores to Fred's
June 2019 -- Fred's Store #1 Closing, Coldwater, MS
July 2019 -- Fred's Flagship Store Closing, Getwell Road Headquarters, Memphis, TN
July 2019 -- Fred's Franchise Store Closing, Munford, TN (BONUS: The Final 11 Fred's Franchises)
August 2019 -- The rise and fall of Coldwater's pride, Fred's Inc. (external link to Daily Memphian article by Wayne Risher)
October 2019 -- What Could Have Been: Fred's Discount Depot, West Memphis, AR (BONUS: "Bluff City Law")
October 2019 -- Attention Shoppers: Fred Has Left The Building (external link to My Florida Retail post by Albertsons Florida Blog)
March 2020 -- Fred's Closing, Horn Lake, MS (BONUS: Jitney Jungle in the Mid-South)
May 2020 -- 2020 Updates: R.I.P. Danver's, and Welcome Back Fred's
June 2020 -- Getwell Drug & Dollar (Fred's Concept Store Closing), Middleton, TN (BONUS: Yazoo Trading Company)
March 2021 -- When Fred's Went Frolicking in Florida (guest post written by Albertsons Florida Blog)

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