USAToday reports that Kmart stores in Bear and Pike Creek will close.
This follows the closings of the College Square Kmart and the Prices Corner Sears stores. Kmart and Sears stores in Dover closed earlier. The closings would leave Delaware with one Kmart in Rehoboth Beach. That store has been downsized was divided into other retail areas.
The closings are expected in December.
It is somewhat unusual for big retailer operators to close stores in Delaware unless the entire company goes out of business, due in part to the state’s lack of a sales tax.
The closing of the Pike Creek Kmart is likely to increase speculation that Target might take a look at the site in the Pike Creek Shopping Center. Target’s store opening list does not list any new stores in Delaware. However, the company is adding smaller store formats that might work at Kmart sites.
Earlier this month, the following statement was issuedfollowing the closing of more than two dozen Sears and Kmart stores.
“Over the past several months, we have worked hard to strengthen our vendor relationships, return our inventory levels to normal, and improve customer satisfaction and operations; however, we have faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity, including differences with Sears Holdings over our purchase agreement and a generally weak retail environment. These challenges have unfortunately affected our performance and limited our strategic choices.”
The statement continued, “After careful review of where we are today, we believe the right course for the company is to accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores after the Sears Hometown and Outlet transaction closes. As we promised, all eligible associates will be offered the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees of Sears Holdings Corporation prior to that company’s Chapter 11 filing in October 2018.”
The latest wave of closings is expected to leave the company with fewer than 350 stores. Sears was once the nation’s largest retailer.