Fred’s Names Bloom CEO

Fred’s Inc. will soon have a new leader at the top as Michael Bloom has been named the company’s new CEO, replacing Jerry Shore who will retire effective February 2017.

Bloom has been with Fred’s since January 2015 and has served as the company’s president and COO. Most recently, he served as the president and COO of Family Dollar Stores. Prior to Family Dollar, Bloom spent more than 20 years with CVS Caremark Corporation, holding a variety of positions in merchandising and operations, rising to evp/merchandising, marketing, advertising and supply chain.

“As our president and chief operating officer, Mike has been the architect of the transformation taking place in our front store,” said Thomas Tashjian, chairman of the board of directors, Fred’s. “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 added, “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 health care services and value merchandise in the markets that we serve, and will position us to realize long-term sustainable growth.”

In addition, Fred’s also named Craig Barnes to the newly created role of chief operating officer, front store. He will be responsible for merchandising, marketing, supply chain, store operations and real estate, and will report directly to Bloom. Barnes previously served as Fred’s evp/supply chain, global and domestic logistics

Prior to joining Fred’s in 2014, Barnes held executive positions at AutoZone, Carquest and Delphi Automotive. Throughout his career, he has had responsibility for supply chain, merchandising, store operations, global logistics, sourcing and inventory management. In his new, expanded role at Fred’s, Barnes will be able to utilize his experience in all aspects of the front store, company officials said.

Bloom said he expects Barnes and Tim Liebmann, Fred’s chief operating officer, pharmacy, to work together to leverage the synergies that exist between the retailer’s front store and pharmacy.