MEMPHIS — Fred’s Inc. weighed in on the recent termination of the merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. and the related asset purchase agreement of Fred’s with Walgreens and Rite Aid. In December 2016, Fred’s announced that it had signed an asset purchase agreement with Walgreens and Rite Aid to buy 865 stores and certain other assets.
“While the acquisition of additional stores was an opportunity for growth, we always viewed it as a potential outcome that would accelerate our transformation, not define it,” commented chief executive officer Mike Bloom. “This is a disappointing outcome; however, the termination of the transaction has no impact on the company’s transformation strategy or our ability to execute. We are as confident as ever that we have a strong team and the right strategy in place to drive long-term growth and profitability, and to enhance value for our shareholders.”
Bloom added that Fred’s team leadership team “continues to deliver on its promise to optimize our business model and execute our health care strategy. We are capitalizing on opportunities to increase prescription comps in retail pharmacy, growing sales in specialty pharmacy and driving traffic into our front store. We also continue to optimize our store fleet and upgrade our talent, technology, supply chain and business processes. Our transformation is on track.”