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Details on Fred’s closings; Taco Bell a possibility after Pizza Hut bites the dust?

Memphis-based Fred’s announced last week that it will close 159 stores, including the retail outlets on Veteran’s Parkway in Barnesville and Hwy. 19 North in Zebulon. The local stores are among 25 Georgia stores involved in the plan to save the business. The stores will be vacated by May 31 as the chain pursues what officials called ‘strategic alternatives’. Fred’s in Barnesville is located in a shopping center owned by Perlmix which was built in 2003-2004. Since that time, Barnesville officials have turned down several requests by the company to add an entrance to its complex from Murphey Avenue. Additionally, the struggling Pizza Hut on Forsyth Street in Barnesville closed down on April 9, according to Barnesville city manager David Rose. ‘They are leaving the power on and said they plan to put something else in that location,’ Rose said. The property is owned by Bruce C. Huckaby of Daniels Island, S.C. who is a principal in JEM Restaurant Group based in Charleston, S.C. JEM owns about 100 Pizza Hut and Taco Bell franchises in the southeast so Taco Bell is a likely alternative for the building which needs work. It was built in 1978 and was formerly home to Ken’s Pizza and a Mazzio’s pizza franchise.

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