Fred’s Inc. CEO Jerry A. Shore will retire from the company in February, and the Memphis, Tennessee-based company’s board of directors has promoted Michael K. Bloom to 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, according to the company.
“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,” said Fred’s Board Chairman Thomas H. Tashjian. “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. As our president and chief operating officer, 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.”
Bloom said, “I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization and talented team through this exciting time. 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.”
Tashjian added, “For 16 years, Jerry Shore has shown tremendous dedication to this company and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of its stakeholders. His financial and operational leadership has been exceptional, his contributions numerous, and his passion for improving Fred’s relentless. We are very grateful for his time here at Fred’s and are pleased that the company will still benefit from his insight and experience as he works closely with Mike through year-end and as he continues to serve on the board of directors following retirement.”
Shore said, “I am very grateful for the time I have spent at Fred’s, the fine people I have come to know as colleagues, and the opportunities I have had to join with others in moving this company forward. Now, knowing that the leadership of Fred’s passes to the capable hands of Mike Bloom, I look forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying the many other interests that never seemed to fit into my hectic schedule.”
Fred’s and and its subsidiaries operate 651 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 states in the southeastern U.S. Included in the store count are 18 franchised locations. Additionally, there are 372 full-service pharmacy departments located within Fred’s stores, including four franchised locations.