Kmart Closing Stores

Kmart is closing several stores and will soon begin going out of business sales at the designated locations. A statement released by the company cited a desire to reduce “ongoing expenses” and to speed up business model transformation plans as the motivation behind the store closings.

Employees at the Kmart stores slated for closure will be offered severance pay and be eligible to apply for work at other area Kmart and Sears stores, the Los Angeles Times reports. Sears Holdings Corporation is the parent company of the discount retailer that is locked in a constant battle with big box giant, Walmart.

A thorough list of the possible Kmart store closings is not yet available. According to the Times report, multiple stores will be closing in California, Minnesota, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Company spokesman Howard Riefs told reporters that he does not yet know exactly how many of the stores will be closed in the coming months. The company spokesman did not rule out the possible closure of Sears stores, as well. Reifs said that the closures would “primarily” be Kmart stores. Sears Holdings Corporation has reportedly been faced with losses during 17 of the past 20 quarters, and a decline in annual sales since 2008, Reuters reports.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, another Walmart competitor, Target, also announced store closings will occur at about 13 locations during the first months of this year. Macy’s also recently announced it will close 40 of its high-end department stores, and lay off 4,800 employees. The company cited a lack of interest in purchasing cold weather apparel and boots for sluggish sales that helped prompt the store closures.

“We are going to be closing some Kmart and Sears stores in various cities across the country. It is a very small percentage of our overall number of stores,” Riefs added. “Every year we evaluate our store portfolio and make changes based on leases or stores with poor performance.”

Sears Holdings reportedly owns 952 Kmart stores and 735 Sears stores.

A preliminary list of Kmart store closings, as shared by Examiner, lists the following locations as being scheduled to turn off the blue light specials and shutter doors in March and April.

  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Lutz, Florida
  • Daytona, Florida
  • Cleveland, Tennessee
  • Citrus Heights, California
  • Chula Vista, California
  • San Mateo, California
  • Ottumwa, Iowa
  • Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Pierre, South Dakota
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Logan, Idaho
  • Superior, Wisconsin
  • Virginia, Minnesota
  • Ironwood, Minnesota

Kmart recently reported a 7.5 percent sales decline during the quarter, which ended on October 31. Christmas sales may have boosted the end of the year financials, but holiday shopping was apparently not enough to prevent the store closures. The company attributed the decline in business to a lack of purchases in its electronics and apparel departments.

In addition to competing against traditional brick and mortar stores like Walmart and Target, Kmart must also vie for customer dollars against online retailers such as Amazon. The convenience of online shopping with its quick, and often times free, shipping deals, has become popular not only with holiday shopping looking for the perfect gift, but for everyday purchases as well. Walmart, for example, will ship toilet paper, spaghetti sauce, and a 50-pound bag of dog food to your doorstep in just a couple days — free of charge if you spend $50 at checkout.

What do you think about the Kmart store closings? Do you shop mostly online or in traditional department stores?

[Image via Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Kmart]