FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The last remaining Kmart in Fort Wayne will close in early December as part of the corporate owner’s ongoing restructuring plan. The Kmart in Decatur will close as well.
According to a company spokesperson, the stores will begin liquidation sales on September 28.
The following statement was emailed to NewsChannel 15 by Howard Riefs, Director of Corporate Communications for Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart:
Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail – at the store, online and in the home.
The Decatur store, located at 804 S. 13th Street, has 49 employees and the Fort Wayne store, located at 820 Coliseum Boulevard North, has 69 employees. Eligible employees will receive severance and will be able to apply at other Sears and Kmart stores. Most of the people affected are part-time and hourly employees.
According to a September 18 article in Forbes, Sears Holdings lost $975 million in the first half of 2014. The article noted that there were 342 full-line Sears stores, 183 Kmart discount stores and 12 Kmart supercenters. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005 to form Sears Holdings.
As recent as the 1990’s, Kmart had four stores in Ft. Wayne.