Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times Fred's closure announcement comes weeks after Rite Aid's location on Highway 52 Bypass W. also shut down due to a buyout from Walgreens.

Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times

Fred's closure announcement comes weeks after Rite Aid's location on Highway 52 Bypass W. also shut down due to a buyout from Walgreens.

Fred's in Lafayette is set to close by the end of the month, weeks after Rite Aid also closed its doors.

The move is part of the discount store chain's decision to liquidate nearly half of its locations due to low performance. The company specializes in home goods, groceries and pharmaceuticals.

"You hate to see these businesses close, because that's two less places for locals to shop and two less sources for sales-tax revenue in the city," Lafayette Mayor Richard Driver said. "When you lose a store with a national profile like Fred's or Rite Aid, that hurts local morale, but the other side is you've got two empty retail stores for businesses that could come into Lafayette."

Driver said that the city has anticipated the closures due to purchases made by Walgreens in recent years and believes the trends in population growth will help drive investment.

"Walgreens bought out Rite Aid and the pharmacy part of Fred's," Driver said. "We've been expecting Rite Aid to close ever since they acquired it, and I guess now was the time they decided on. As for Fred's, I know many brick and mortar stores struggle to compete with Amazon and Walmart."

Fred's announced the Lafayette store's closure as part of a second downsizing wave on May 16, after previously shuttering 159 locations a month prior. Local store management was unavailable for comment.

"After careful review, we have made the decision to rationalize our footprint by closing underperforming stores, with a particular focus on locations with shorter duration leases," Fred's CEO Joseph Anto said in a press release. "Decisions that impact our associates in this way are difficult ... we will make every effort to transition impacted associates to other stores where possible."

Liquidation sales remain underway at the Lafayette store as of June 4, and pharmacy assets (files, prescriptions, etc.) from both Fred's and Rite Aid will be available from Walgreens moving forward.