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Fred's to close an additional 104 stores, stock falls

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Fred's Inc. tumbled 6.8% in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount retailer said it was closing an additional 104 stores, and that it entered into a forebearance agreement with its lenders. The company said liquidation sales at the stores being closed will begin Thursday, with the closures expected to be completed by the end of June. The additional store closures comes a month after the company said it will close 159 stores by the end of May, leaving 398 stores open at that time. "These additional store closures are a difficult, but necessary step in the continued restructuring of Fred's," said Chief Executive Joseph Anto. The stock, which has closed below the $1 threshold since May 6, has plunged 69% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 4.8% and the S&P 500 has advanced 14%.