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Pugh to head marketing, merchandising at Fred’s

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MEMPHIS — Fred’s Inc. has bolstered its executive team with three major appointments while strengthening its specialty pharmacy presence with an acquisition.

The regional discount store and pharmacy operator has named Bryan Pugh chief merchandising and marketing officer. Pugh most recently was chief merchandising officer for Walgreen Co., where he served for six years in a variety of executive positions. In his new role Pugh will focus on developing new and enhancing current merchandising and marketing strategies and processes.

Craig Barnes has been promoted to the position of executive vice president of supply chain, global and domestic logistics. Barnes began his tenure at Fred’s in August 2014 and, last November, was promoted to the position of executive vice president and general merchandise manager.

Mike Holligan has been promoted to executive vice president of store operations. Holligan served 18 years at Walmart before joining Fred’s, where he has risen through the managerial ranks from district manager to regional vice president of store operations.

“I am very enthusiastic about the experience that the 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,” says president and chief operating officer Mike Bloom.

Fred’s has also extended its presence in the specialty pharmacy field by agreeing to acquire Reeves-Sain Drug Store, a private specialty and retail pharmacy operator based in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The acquisition includes EntrustRx, a specialty pharmacy operation with a significant southeastern regional footprint. The transaction is valued at approximately $66 million.


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