Two Arizona Kmarts To Close
Kmart stores in Tolleson and Show Low will close early April.
On Thursday Sears announced 64 Kmart and 39 Sears stores across the country will shutter in early spring.
This is the continuation of a trend for the once-dominant retailer. In the most recent quarter sales were down 17 percent at Sears and 13 percent at Kmart, and it was the 24th quarter in a row in which sales declined.
The company has closed hundreds of “low-performing” stores in previous years as it focuses less on physical space and devotes more resources to online sales.
“Certainly this will affect the economy in terms of lost sales tax,” said Steve North, business development coordinator for the city of Show Low. “And we’re especially concerned about the displaced employees.”
North estimates about 60 people will lose their jobs following the closure of the Kmart in Show Low - not insignificant for the small northern Arizona city of just over 10,000.
“So we’re just going to stay positive, move forward and work with the owners of the property to find someone to take that space,” North said.
Last year saw the closure of Kmart stores in Bullhead City, Phoenix and Kingman.
“While it’s sad to see any business close, the last 12 to 18 months our Kmart was open it was evident closure was imminent - so shoppers shifted their shopping habits,” said Toby Cotter, the city manager for Bullhead City.
According to Cotter, former Kmart employees were able to find new positions and the city’s sales tax was unaffected.
“As Americans Kmart was an institution for so many of us growing up - with the blue light special and all,” he said. “So it is sad, but you could feel that it [closure] was coming.”
Sears did not say how many employees would be affected but, according to the statement, “eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores.”
Liquidation sales at the Tolleson and Show Low locations will start Jan. 12.
Request for comment from Sears and the city of Tolleson were not returned.