Discount chain Fred’s announced Thursday it is closing 104 underperforming stores as part of an “ongoing effort to rationalize its store footprint.”

The new round of closings comes five weeks after the Memphis-based company started “going out of business” liquidation sales at 159 stores and follows an evaluation of store performance and timing of lease expirations, Fred’s said in a statement.

“These additional store closures are a difficult but necessary step in the continued restructuring of Fred’s,” Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said in the statement.

The liquidation of the 104 stores starts Thursday with stores expected to close by the end of June. Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee are losing the most locations.

In April, Fred’s said it had 557 stores in 13 states. After the 263 closures, representing 46  percent of the company, there will be 294 remaining locations.