Fred's Announces Key Management Additions and Changes

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today announced several key management changes, including:

Bryan Pugh named Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer (CMMO).
Craig Barnes promoted to Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Global and Domestic Logistics.
Mike Holligan promoted to Executive Vice President of Store Operations.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerry A. Shore, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Working together with Mike Bloom, our President and Chief Operating Officer, we are now assembling a solid, experienced management team that complements our pharmacy team to drive growth in market share and improve profitability. We are very excited about how this team has come together and the opportunities ahead for Fred's."

Bryan Pugh brings to Fred's 30 years of retail experience. Among his many roles at Walgreen's for the last six years, he served as Chief Merchandising Officer responsible for $27 billion in sales. Prior to Walgreen's, Pugh worked for Tesco, PLC, where he was Executive Vice President of Operations for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for Tesco Lotus Stores.

As CMMO, Pugh will work to develop new and enhance current merchandising and marketing strategies and processes, promote stronger supplier partnerships, convert Pharmacy patients to front-of-store customers, and build on the value proposition that Fred's offers its customers.

Craig Barnes will assume the role of Executive Vice President of Supply Chain and Sourcing Logistics. Prior to joining Fred's, Barnes held executive positions at AutoZone, CARQUEST and Delphi Automotive. He has had full responsibility for P&L management, supply chain and store operations management, global logistics, sourcing, and inventory management. This move elevates his focus on supply chain as an enabler for improving operating margin. Barnes brings a unique skillset of merchandising, store operations, supply chain and sourcing that will drive the Company's plans to move from a distribution strategy to a fully integrated supply chain retailer, a critical step in becoming a low-cost operator.

In his short time as General Merchandise Manager, Barnes built a sourcing team, instituted improved processes and developed programs that promote supply chain improvements. The new initiatives and teamwork provides a solid foundation for Bryan Pugh and the entire Fred's organization to build upon.

Mike Holligan has accepted the position of Executive Vice President of Store Operations. Holligan's extensive experience in store operations began at Wal-Mart, where he spent 18 years before joining Fred's. While at Fred's, Holligan has successfully worked as District Manager and Regional Vice President of Store Operations. He was a key leader in achieving store labor savings and inventory control while in those positions.

Commenting on the announcement, Mike Bloom, President and COO, said, "I am very enthusiastic about the experience that this leadership team brings to their respective roles and the way they position Fred's to drive profitability and to grow the convenience/pharmacy-centric model."

Currently, Fred's operates 661 discount general merchandise stores, including 19 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's website at