Fred’s firers and hires CMO

fredsSteve’s breakdown: Looks like the last CMO really F’ed-up at Fred’s so this looks like a good time to introduce the agency. (As long as you didn’t hang out with the last guy)

MEPHIS, TN: Memphis retailer Fred’s Inc. said Mary Lou Gardner has replaced Bryan Pugh as chief marketing officer.

Gardner was hired in January as senior vice president for strategy and project management. Pugh was hired as marketing chief in early 2015 as part of the discount chain’s restructuring. He had been chief marketing officer with the Walgreen pharmacy chain based in Deerfield, Illinois.

In a statement Tuesday, officials said Pugh has resigned from Fred’s, which operates 651 general goods stores and 372 pharmacies. Its restructuring has hit a rough patch.

Last week, the company reported sales for the quarter dropped 3.4 percent to $527.7 million. Revenue at stores open at least one year trailed the performance in the same quarter last year by 2 percent.

Gardner was promoted to executive vice president with the title chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Her promotion is effective immediately, Fred’s said in the Tuesday statement.

Fred’s president Michael K. Bloom, in the statement, said Gardner came from CVS Health Corp., where she had been divisional merchandising manager for beauty/personal care, senior director of inventory management, senior director of merchandising general merchandise/consumables, senior director for promotional optimization and senior director for store brand innovation.

“She excels in the ability to lead and rally a team around a common purpose, which explains her many diverse roles at CVS, where she was called on several times to lead key strategic initiatives,” Bloom said in the statement.

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