Barrett and Salli Hoard pose beside a mural that shows Danny Hoard on the side of Big D’s Discount Drugs in this file photo taken in September 2011. The Hoards were the first to receive the Butts County Chamber of Commerce Golden Nail Award, in recognition of the mural. The store was acquired by Fred’s Pharmacy earlier this month. (File Photo)
Correction: Based on erroneous information provided to the newspaper, the following article incorrectly identifies those on staff following the acquisition. According to Josh Russell, pharmacy marketing manager for Fred’s, those on staff at Big D’s are Erin Powell, pharmacy manager; Alexander Purvis, pharmacist; Heather Patterson, pharmacy technician; Will Glidewell, pharmacy technician; Bonnie Lane, pharmacy associate; Lauren Everett, pharmacy associate, and Christy Gordy, pharmacy associate. It is the policy of the newspaper to correct errors of fact that appear in its pages.
Big D’s Discount Drugs has a new owner — Fred’s Pharmacy.
Dave Mueller, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Fred’s, said Tuesday that the chain acquired the store Sept. 12, and is maintaining the Big D’s name and Big D’s staff, including pharmacists Katharine Carmichael, Alex Purvis and Tom Odell.
Big D’s Discount Drugs Manager and Owner Barrett Hoard said weeks before the change, the Memphis, Tenn.-based company approached him about purchasing the business. Fred’s will lease the building until the company finds a new location, he said.
The corner drugstore, at West Third and Oak streets on the square in Jackson, has been in the Hoard family for decades.
Danny Hoard, Barrett’s father, a pharmacist, bought out Parrish Drug Co. in 1973.
“My first job, when I was 8, was filling up the drink machine and making deliveries on my bicycle,” Barrett Hoard recalled about the pharmacy his father purchased two years after Barrett was born.
Parrish Drug Co. ran under the former owner’s name until 1998, when Danny Hoard sold the pharmacy to CVS, which opened in another location in Jackson.
From 1998 to 2001, Barrett Hoard operated a jewelry-pawn store, Parrish Treasures, in the Oak Street building.
In 2001, Danny Hoard returned to the site to open Big D’s Discount Drugs, which included jewelry items sold by his son, Barrett. Danny’s wife, Salli Hoard, also worked at the pharmacy.
Danny Hoard died in 2009. The family later had an artist paint a mural on the side of Big D’s Discount Drugs that includes an image of Danny Hoard holding up a prescription bottle.
Salli Hoard retired this year, several months before Fred’s Pharmacy took over the business, Barrett Hoard said.
The Hoards had many regular and loyal customers over the years, Barrett Hoard said. Although the timing was right when Fred’s approached the family to purchase the business, “it was a tough decision,” he said.
The Hoard family has called Butts County home for a number of decades. Danny Hoard and Barrett Hoard both graduated from Jackson High School.
Barrett said he and his mother will maintain ties and continue to return to Jackson.
Mueller said Fred’s is proud to serve Big D’s customers. “We’re proud to continue any tradition there in service of patients. We don’t plan to make any radical changes,” he said. “It’s an investment on our part and we look forward to continuing to serve the community.”
Fred’s was established in 1947 in Coldwater, Miss., and now has more than 700 discount stores and 320 discount store-pharmacy locations across the Southeast, according to the fredsinc.com website.
Fred’s also owns and operates Getwell Drug and Dollar and Yazoo Trading Company, according to fredsinc.com.
Michael Davis contributed to this article.