Fred's sets grand opening in Elizabethton

By Greg Miller
star staff

  Fred's will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 1 at 8:45 a.m. for a new Elizabethton store located at 651 W. Elk Ave.
  The goal of manager Teddy Luna is "to provide a great working environment for all employees; a great atmosphere for customers to come in and shop and be satisfied when they leave."
  The first Fred's store opened in Coldwater, Miss. in 1947, according to a press release. "A cigar box served as the cash register, and the front door was a screen door," the press release states. In 1971, Fred's moved its headquarters to the current location in Memphis which includes over 900,000 square feet covering 20 acres under one roof.
  Today, Fred's operates over 530 stores and 245 pharmacies in 14 states throughout the Southeast and employs approximately 8,000 people.
  "I think it's a really good company to work for," Luna said. "They're continuously growing."
  The press release states that the typical Fred's store is 16,000 square feet in size.
  The Tennessee Workforce Development Center, Stoney Creek, "was great at helping me to get employees," Luna said.
  A Johnson City resident, Luna, 35, has worked for Fred's since he was 16 years old in Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. He began as a stocker before working as a store manager and district manager. He then worked in the area of store development, new stores and remodeling.
  Luna relocated to Northeast Tennessee from Birmingham, Ala. "I'm originally a Tennessee boy," said Luna, who hails from McMinnville.
  For more information, call 543-2099 or visit Fred's Web site at