Fred's in Sumter will close after all

Store on Broad Street is on 2nd round of closings in Southeast

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 5/23/19

Fred's, a longtime value store chain, will soon be a retail relic of the past in Sumter.

After escaping inclusion on a list announced in April detailing 159 closures of the 557 stores the Mississippi-founded, Memphis-headquartered chain operates …

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Fred's in Sumter will close after all

Store on Broad Street is on 2nd round of closings in Southeast

Posted

Fred's, a longtime value store chain, will soon be a retail relic of the past in Sumter.

After escaping inclusion on a list announced in April detailing 159 closures of the 557 stores the Mississippi-founded, Memphis-headquartered chain operates in small communities throughout 13 Southeastern states, the location at 209 Broad St. was put on the chopping block in the second round of closures announced last week.

The Sumter store is among an additional 104 locations that are conducting "store closing" sales and will wrap up business by the end of June, according to SB360 Capital Partners, an asset disposition specialist company that Fred's Inc. retained to lead liquidation sales.

"Fred's is a value retailer selling everyday necessities, and their customers recognize the significant additional savings offered during these events," said Aaron Miller, executive vice president of SB360, in the company's announcement at the end of last week. "We saw the response in April during the initial round of closings and the first week cleared a lot of product. Customers saw if they didn't buy it quickly, what they wanted wasn't there when they returned."

Fred's was founded in 1947 to sell value-priced products across categories that fill everyday needs, from food and fresh goods to snacks and soda to toiletries, over-the-counter medications, household products, hardware, sporting goods, lawn and garden items, toys and more.

"When stores with a loyal shopper like Fred's have a store closing or inventory blowout event, word spreads quickly," Miller said in April.

Nine stores in South Carolina were included in the most recent announcement, bringing the total number of Fred's to shutter statewide to 20. There are 263 closings listed on the Fred's website as taking part in its closing sale.

Stores in Bishopville and Camden are also closing.

Fred's is the latest in a trend seeing the decline of big-box, brick-and-mortar retail and department stores.

All three Rite Aids in Sumter closed last year, starting in July and culminating in October. March of this year saw the last days of Sumter's Kmart on Broad Street after 43 years.

A manager at the Fred's in Sumter said she had to defer comment to the corporate office.

The store's hours are listed as 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.