KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sears Holdings Corporation announced on Monday that 142 Sears and Kmart stores around the county will close their doors over the next few months, including a few here in the metro.
The decision comes as Sears Holdings continues to deal with bankruptcy and years of poor or flat sales.
The following Kmarts will be part of the closings announced on Monday:
- 7836 State Ave, Kansas City, KS
- 2901 N Belt Hwy, St. Joseph, MO
- 7100 NW Prairie View Rd., Kansas City, MO
Longtime customers of the Kmart off State Avenue, which has been in business for decades, said they would be sad to say farewell to the store.
“Kmart has been with us so long it’s like taking away part of the family,” said Raynette Rainey, who lives in KCK. “We just don’t have the things we used to have and it doesn’t make sense.”
Rainey told 41 Action News that she has shopped with her children at the store many times and the closing will now force her to possibly travel further away to get her shopping done.
“We don’t have any nice stores where we can go to instead of having to go out to the Legends,” she said. “Not everybody wants to go out there.”
While the announcement of the closings brought disappointment from some customers on Monday, the decision was not unexpected.
After last reporting a profit in 2010, Sears Holdings has recorded around $6.2 billion in losses.
Peter Eaton, a former UMKC economics professor, told 41 Action News that Sears and Kmart have faced strong competition after both became power players in the retail industry.
“When I first moved to Kansas City about 40 years ago, there were Kmarts everywhere,” he said. “There have been two trends. The emergence of Walmart and the emergence of online purchasing.”
Moving forward, Eaton said the metro may see even more Sears and Kmart closings.
“They’re holding on maybe just for holding on,” he explained. “Unless they do something radically different than what they’re doing now, I don’t see much of a future.”
It is still unknown how many jobs will be impacted in the metro as a result of the closings.
Calls to Kmart for information on closure dates have not been returned.