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Fred's closing its doors
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A longtime discount retailer in downtown Dawsonville is closing its doors. Fred's Inc., located at 751 Hwy. 53, will close permanently when existing inventory is sold out, according to Dave Mueller, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the company.

The store is now open and liquidating merchandise. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The closing is the result of economic challenges, Mueller said. "Many factors cause a retailer to close a store, such as competition, economic challenges, and sales challenges," he said. "We are not unique in closing stores."

Fred's is located within one mile of Family Dollar and Dollar General and six miles of a second Dollar General location.

Several customers in the parking lot at Fred's were surprised to find the doors locked on Wednesday, April 24.

"I've been doing my weekly shopping here at least five years," said Dawsonville resident Kay Conner. "I'm really going to miss this place."

Karen Hollander of Gainesville felt similarly.

"I can't believe they're closing," she said. "They've got such good deals, it was worth the drive."

Jessica Emmett said she liked the store's location.

"I had no idea they were closing," said Jessica Emmett, who has lived in Dawsonville two years. "This store is a lot more convenient than going into town."

The store opened in February 2003. Mueller could not confirm the number of employees affected.