IN 1947, Paul Baddour and his two brothers opened a small discount store in Coldwater, Mississippi. While the company was originally incorporated as Baddour, Inc., Paul later named one of the stores after his brother Fred, and the name stuck.
The company opened stores in small towns and offered deeply discounted prices on closeout items. Fred’s stores did quite well, even competing against the giant Walmart by expanding store sizes from the usual 5,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet or more.
Fred’s has diversified into other areas, including Fred’s Pharmacy, Dollar Stores, GetWell Drug and Dollar, and the Yazoo Trading Company. In 2018, the company sold its prescription patient information to competitor Walgreens from their 185 pharmacies. Walgreens paid $165 million for this information after Fred’s was unable to purchase hundreds of Rite Aid pharmacies.
The company had annual revenue in 2016 of $2.125 billion but lost $66.5 million. This has caused the company to announce the closure of 159 stores in April 2019 which the company states were underperforming or whose leases were about to expire.
Fred’s company headquarters are located in Memphis, Tennessee.