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Fred's appoints new CEO and COO - front store


MEMPHIS, Tenn.  - Fred's on Tuesday announced that CEO Jerry Shore will retire from the company in February 2017. Accordingly, the board of directors has named Michael Bloom CEO, effective immediately. Bloom, who joined Fred's as president and COO in January 2015, has worked closely with Shore on building a strong management team to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

"Jerry and Mike have worked side by side for nearly two years; we are fortunate to have had Jerry's successor in place for this transition," stated Thomas Tashjian, Fred's chairman. "With more than 30 years of experience in small-box retail, throughout merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store operations, Mike has proven himself as a strategic, innovative and effective leader," he said. "As our president and COO, Mike has been the architect of the transformation taking place in our front store. Our board and the company's entire management team are enthusiastic and confident about the capabilities and vision that Mike brings to the CEO position."

"I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization and talented team through this exciting time." Bloom added. "I am confident that the strategies we are laying out and the investments we are making will further evolve this unique business model – as a regional provider of healthcare services and value merchandise in the markets that we serve – and will position us to realize long-term sustainable growth."

Bloom promised new initiatives to help re-ignite Fred's growth engine will be introduced in the second half of 2016, following disappointing second-quarter results reported on Tuesday.

In other news, Fred’s also announced that Craig Barnes, EVP supply chain, global and domestic logistics, has been promoted to the newly created role of COO – front store. In this role, Barnes will be responsible for merchandising, marketing, supply chain, store operations and real estate, and will report directly to Bloom.

“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," Bloom said. "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."

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.


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