Fred's has filed for bankruptcy and will close its 300 remaining stores

An exterior of a Fred's store. The 72-year-old discount chain, is closing all of its roughly 300 remaining stores and going out of business.

Fred's, a 72-year-old discount chain, is closing all of its roughly 300 remaining stores and going out of business. The chain had as many as 557 stores earlier this year.

The Memphis-based retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday and said liquidation sales will take place at its stores over the next 60 days.

"Despite our team's best efforts, we were not able to avoid this outcome," said CEO Joe Anto in a statement.

In bankruptcy court, the company will seek a financing agreement that would inject up to $35 million in fresh funding into the business to ensure an "orderly wind-down of its operations."

Fred's sells a variety of items, such as food and household cleaning supplies. Stores are scattered across several US states including Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Florida and Texas.

Fred's has been reporting yearly losses since 2015. It struggled to find a turnaround plan and had to make multiple rounds of store closures.

It's still trying to get out of the pharmacy business. Walgreens bought some of Fred's pharmacy patient prescription files and inventory last year. The company said that it will continue to fill prescriptions at its remaining pharmacy locations while it tries to find a buyer.

Fred's opened its first store in 1947 in Mississippi. It later expanded its footprint across the United States with the idea of becoming a value-focused retailer and drug store. It sells both private labels and national brands.

Fred's is the latest store to enter bankruptcy or to completely shut its doors. Forever 21, Barney's, Charming Charlie, Payless Shoes and Gymboree have all had reports of or confirmed financial difficulties this year.

This year, retailers have announced 8,000 stores closures — and counting. That number already exceeds last year's total of 5,864 closure announcements, according to a report from Coresight Research. The firm forecasts as many as 12,000 stores will close by the end of the year.

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