MOUNT VERNON — Kmart, a longtime retail staple in Mount Vernon, will be closing its doors in March.
Sears Holding Co. made the announcement to the public Wednesday as store associates in 78 stores were informed of the decision, including those in Mount Vernon. A statement released by Sears said only that the stores would be closing at the end of March. Posts on Facebook indicate the store could close as early as March 14. The local manager referred all requests for information about the closing to the corporate offices. Calls to corporate were unreturned as of press time.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take action to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation,” Sears said in its Wednesday statement. “Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around. But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success.”
Some store employees will be eligible for severance packages and could find positions at other locations. However, Mount Vernon employees will find that difficult as other central Ohio Kmarts are also closing including Zanesville, St. Clairsville, Reynoldsburg, New Boston, Kenton and Gallipolis.
Twenty-six Sears stores will close this spring including those in Akron, Chillicothe, Lancaster and Richmond Heights.
Kmart announced the closing of 30 other stores on Dec. 27, 2016 as well as 16 Sears stores.
In mid-November 2016, Sears announced the closing of several Kmart pharmacies, including the one in the Mount Vernon store.