Come January, Local Kmart Closes Its Doors for Good
Kmart will be closing its doors. Photo by Ross Vetterkind

Come January, Local Kmart Closes Its Doors for Good

Located at 111 Division Street, Stevens Point, the local Kmart is scheduled to shut its doors for good by the end of January 2018.

Kmart has been known for their low prices and nationwide accessibility for decades. However, as more superstores begin to popularize, Kmart is plummeting and Stevens Point is seeing the effects.

According to the press release from Nov. 2, 2017, the Stevens Point Kmart location was the only Wisconsin operation to make the closing list. In addition, 63 other Sears Holding Corp locations are scheduled to close by the end of January, including 43 Kmarts and 18 Sears.

Kmart, located on 111 Division Street, makes it a convenient location for students on campus. However, the store will be closing. Photo by Ross Vetterkind

The closing of the local Kmart is estimated to leave many people jobless. Because of this, the Department of Workforce Development is working diligently to provide the former employees with information and workshops in preparation for their future employment.

It is unknown if the employees will be given severance, or if any other benefits will be given to those affected.

According to the press release, the corporation plans to evolve by closing unprofitable stores in order for their business model to meet member needs.

It is estimated that the store has yet to gain a profit in the last seven years and stock in the store has plummeted by 40 percent.

To add to an already poor fiscal situation, a press release done on Nov. 30, 2017, on the Sears Holding Reports for the 2017 third quarter enumerated a 15.3 percent decline in total comparable store sales, Kmart’s sales decreasing 13 percent while Sears’ declined 17 percent.

However, while the corporation seems to be weeding out the weaklings, they have since opened two new Appliances and Mattress Stores in Hawaii and Pennsylvania.

During this extensive and multiple year process, the corporation has also seen a change in their Board of Directors. The decision was announced October 16, 2017, that Bruce Berkowitz was stepping down from his position. He was on the board for less than a year and a half.

Another press release titled “Sears Holdings Announces Change to Board of Directors” quoted Berkowitz, who said, “I wish the company and its associates all the best as Sears Holdings continues to execute on its strategic priorities.”

While nearing its closing date, the local Stevens Point Kmart store began liquidation sales ranging from 15-40 percent off their products.

It is unknown what will replace the store, which is in the hands of the building owners.

Kallie Fowler

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