Discount retail and pharmacy chain Fred's Inc. is filing for bankruptcy and closing its stores over the next two months, which includes 15 Fred's locations across Louisiana, most of them in north Louisiana with many of its south Louisiana stores already closed.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said in a statement Monday that it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and has begun liquidation sales at all of its retail locations.

In south Louisiana, stores at 708 Washington St. in Franklinton, 6216 Highway 10 in Greensburg and 715 1st Ave. in Kinder are closing. The company closed stores in Kentwood, Church Point and Eunice in June.

It also closed underperforming stores in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Lafayette and Hammond several months ago.

The stores at 10710 Greenwell Springs Road in Baton Rouge, 228 W. Highway 30 in Gonzales, 2490 W. Congress in Lafayette, 806 Veterans Drive in Carencro, 125 Highway 51 North in Hammond, 1801 West Main St. in Franklin and 1114 S. Main St. in St. Martinville closed in May. 

The company said it expects to continue fulfilling prescriptions at most of its pharmacy locations, while pursuing the sale of its pharmacies.

Fred's has filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking up to $35 million for a financing agreement with certain lenders. Chief Executive Officer Joe Anto said despite the company's best efforts, "we were not able to avoid this outcome."

Fred's started in 1947. Fred's said earlier this year it was closing more than 280 underperforming stores in 13 states.

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