Fred’s Announces Promotion of Craig Barnes to Chief Operating Officer – Front Store

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--()--Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today announced that Craig Barnes, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Global and Domestic Logistics, has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer – Front Store. In this role, Barnes will be responsible for Merchandising, Marketing, Supply Chain, Store Operations and Real Estate, and will report directly to Michael K. Bloom, Chief Executive Officer.

Commenting on the announcement, Bloom said, “I am pleased that Craig will be assuming increased responsibilities within our organization, as we continue to position the Company for the opportunities that lie ahead and develop the strategies and tactics to deliver long-term, sustainable and profitable growth. Over the past 18 months, Craig and I have formed a trusted business relationship, as he has become a thought leader for our organization. He is the go-to resource for our team, with an insightful, strategic and clear vision of our customer and our stores.

“Craig has demonstrated his leadership abilities, in both team building and laying the groundwork for process improvements and enhanced supply chain strategies,” Bloom continued. “In doing so, he and his team have cut supply chain costs, delivered significant efficiencies and improved the service we deliver to our stores. I expect that Craig, in tandem with Tim Liebmann, recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer – Pharmacy, will work to leverage the synergies that exist between our front store and pharmacy.”

Prior to joining Fred’s in 2014, Barnes held executive positions at AutoZone, CARQUEST and Delphi Automotive. Throughout his career, he has had responsibility for supply chain, merchandising, store operations, global logistics, sourcing, and inventory management. In his new, expanded role at Fred’s, Barnes will be able to utilize his experience in all aspects of the front store.

Fred’s, Inc. and subsidiaries operate 651 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 states in the southeastern United States. Included in the store count are 18 franchised locations. Also, there are 372 full service pharmacy departments located within Fred’s stores, including four franchised locations. For more information about the Company, visit Fred’s website at www.fredsinc.com.

Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical facts or they use such words as “outlook,” “guidance,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” estimate,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “committed,” “continue,” or “will likely result” and similar expressions that concern the Company’s strategy, plans, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those associated with the Company’s announced strategic plan, the ultimate terms of the reworked pharmacy distribution agreement, lease buyouts and the underlying assumptions and projections upon which they are based, as well as risks that intended results may not be achieved or may not occur as quickly as expected; the success of announced acquisition activities and future growth trends in businesses acquired; general economic trends; changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns; delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company’s distribution centers and its stores or between the Company’s suppliers and same; a disruption in the Company’s data processing services; cyber-security threats; costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites; and the factors listed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Fred’s undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts

Fred’s Inc.
Rick Hans, 901-362-3733, Ext. 2232
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Contacts

Fred’s Inc.
Rick Hans, 901-362-3733, Ext. 2232
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer