Fred's (FRED) Names New Front Store COO

August 30, 2016 6:17 AM EDT

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Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) 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.

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