Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:59 pm
Employees at the Racine Kmart store were notified Wednesday their store would be one of 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores nationwide that would close this spring.
Kmart Corp., a subsidiary of Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp., announced the closings publicly on its website.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation,” the statement on the website said. “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.”
Company spokesman Howard Riefs would not say how many people work at the Racine store.
He said employees would be eligible to receive severance and would have an opportunity to apply for open positions at other area Sears or Kmart stores.
The Racine Sears store closed in 2014.
The Racine Kmart store opened its current location, at 2211 S. Green Bay Road, in 1992 as part of the second phase of the High Ridge Centre, which also included a Toys “R” Us store and Home Depot. The 91,266-square-foot Kmart replaced its former location at 1750 Ohio St., which is now a Rogan’s Shoes distribution center.
Racine Mayor John Dickert said the city has been looking at large retail sites, like Kmart for a long time and what the future will be.
“We’re talking to developers about what retail and shopping will look like for the next 20 years, rather than trying to constantly catch up with who is closing and who is moving in,” Dickert said. “We want to look at what the future of these sites could be. Considering we are landlocked, we use every site to its greatest advantage.”
Kmart and Sears have struggled for years and have closed several of their stores. In June, the Kmart store in Wauwatosa closed. In 2015, Kmart stores in Hales Corners, Greenfield, Brookfield, Hartford and Waukesha and Sears stores in Glendale, Sheboygan and Racine all closed.
There are a few Kmart locations still open in the Milwaukee area. Kmart at West Allis Towne Center, 6900 W. Greenfield Ave. and Kmart in Cudahy, 6077 S. Packard Ave.