The Savannah Kmart store at 33 W. Montgomery Cross Road is among four Georgia locations that will close by the end of March, according to Sears Holdings Corporation, which announced the closures earlier this week.
The company also has plans to shutter Sears stores in Albany and Columbus. There has been no announcement concerning the Savannah Sears store, which is located at Oglethorpe Mall.
There are about 800 Kmart stores across the country and about 700 Sears locations and this round of closures will affect 150 Sears and Kmart locations. The stores collectively generated about $1.2 billion in sales over the past 12 months, but they generated a loss of approximately $60 million over that same period, according to Sears Holdings.
“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,” said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings.
“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 hope 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.”
Savannah store manager, Willie Henry, who couldn’t comment on the closing, said there are 59 employees at the Savannah Kmart. Henry said he was unaware of when liquidation sales at would begin, but the press release distributed by Sears Holdings states that sales at some stores could start as early as today.
Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores, according to Sears Holdings.
The shopping center where Kmart is located, which also includes Dollar General and Citi Trends, was sold to Great Neck, New York-based One Liberty Properties Inc, in 2006 for $3 million, according to Chatham County tax assessor records. The company manages properties across 30 states and in several other Georgia cities, including Athens, Duluth and Kennesaw.