The Fred’s chain is closing 159 of its “underperforming” stores, including the one in Guntersville, according to USA Today. The stores are expected to be closed by the end of May.

The closing stores represent nearly 29 percent of Fred’s 557 stores and are located in 13 states, with Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee losing the most stores, USA Today said. Freds’ sales fell 4.9 percent in the first 9 months of 2018 compared to a year earlier.

“After a careful review, we have made the decision to rationalize our footprint by closing underperforming stores, with a particular focus on locations with shorter duration leases,” Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said in the statement. “Most of these stores have near‐term lease expirations and limited remaining lease obligations.”

There are no plans to close a majority or all Fred’s stores or to file for bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Guntersville Fred’s is one of 19 stores in Alabama that the chain is closing.

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