MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jerry Shore has been named chief executive officer of Fred’s Inc., which operates more than 350 pharmacies and is transitioning to a convenience/pharmacy-centric model.
Shore, who had been chief operating officer and chief financial officer, succeeds Bruce Efird, who is leaving the company upon the expiration of his contract.
Shore had been executive vice president and chief financial officer for more than 14 years and assumed the additional title of chief operating officer in January.
In connection with the leadership change, Fred’s also promoted vice president and controller Sherri Tagg to chief accounting officer.
The company said it expects to fill the vacant president and chief operating officer position soon.
Shore was promoted “in recognition of his accomplishments in guiding the fiscal management of the company and, more recently, his notable contributions as chief operating officer to the operational and strategic aspects of our business,” said chairman Michael Hayes. “In addition to these skills, Jerry has an intimate knowledge of the company’s business and personnel, and he possesses the vision and strategy needed to transition Fred’s to the convenience/pharmacy-centric model.”
Shore said that he has been able to spend more time this year focusing broadly on company operations. “I am confident of building a strong team that will drive deeper penetration of pharmacies in our stores and the relay of existing stores with the convenient, ‘need it now’ format,” he commented. “This combination, along with a stronger marketing program, will be the cornerstone of our growth and profitability going forward.”
The chain, which operates 701 discount general merchandise stores in the Southeast, has said it will shutter a net of about 20 units this year, but open around 40 pharmacies. It announced a new pharmacy distribution agreement with Cardinal Health Inc. over the summer.