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Last Springfield Kmart to close

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Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) announced yesterday it will close its last of three Kmart stores in Springfield.

In addition to the 3101 S. Glenstone Ave. store, Sears Holdings also plans to shutter its sole Kmart in Branson, 1477 State Highway 248, eliminating the brand’s presence in southwest Missouri, according to a news release.

A manager at the Glenstone Avenue store declined to disclose the number of employees affected in Springfield. He referred questions to Sears Holdings media officials, who could not be reached for comment by deadline.

The list of closures also includes one Kmart store each in Jefferson City, Rolla and St. Louis, as well as Sears stores in Jefferson City and St. Joseph. Officials informed employees yesterday at 78 Kmart stores and 26 Sears locations of the closures to take effect this spring. That followed news on Dec. 27 that 30 Kmart locations and 16 Sears stores would close in the spring.

Liquidation sales are scheduled to begin tomorrow at the affected stores scheduled to close at the end of March, according to the release.

The South Glenstone Kmart store is part of a 19-acre development tract owned by Springfield 869 Fee LLC that also includes Olive Garden, Barnes & Noble, LongHorn Steakhouse and OfficeMax. Mike Slusky, leasing representative with Hyde Park, New York-based Kimco Realty, said his company owns the area just south of Battlefield Road. Declining to disclose the square footage Kmart leases, he said Kimco currently is working on a plan on how to market the space.

In the release, Sears Holdings officials said the planned closures affect nonprofitable stores. In the third quarter, the company reported a net loss of $748 million.

"We are taking strong, decisive actions today to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment," Sears Holdings Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said in the release. "We are committed to improving short-term operating performance in order to achieve our long-term transformation."

Last year, Sears closed its store at 1930 E. Kearney St., two years after the closure of its 3700 S. Campbell Ave. location.

Separately, Macy’s announced yesterday plans to close 68 stores and lay off 10,000 across the country, but no Missouri stores were on the list.

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