You heard it from me first. A year ago.
Seems that Fred's is the next full victim in the retail fallout. Last ditch efforts to rebrand and then shrink didn't pan out. All stores will be gone by the end of the year. A sad end for a storied chain of small town stores.
Scary part is that a year ago, they were looking to buy a large part of Rite Aid. Looks like my guess of them as the scapegoat for Walgreens to get the stores was right after all.
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I expected Fred's end for several years. Fred's could not compete as a dollar store with Dollar General and as a drugstore with CVS and Walgreen's.