By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
CROSSVILLE – What would’ve been the Upper Cumberland’s last remaining Kmart location, following the final closure of the Cookeville store sometime this month, has been tagged for closure by its parent company Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC).
According to the announcement from SHC, the Crossville location, located at 190 Cumberland Square, is among 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores slated for closure sometime between March and April. The Crossville location is among those stores expected to close in early April. Liquidation sales at the affected locations could begin as early as Jan. 12.
“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size,” the release from SHC reads. “In the process, as previously announced, we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our store members.”
The company notified employees last Thursday of the impending closures.
Howard Riefs, SHC’s corporate communications director, told the UCBJ the number of store associates impacted by the closure is not available but the majority of the jobs affected are part-time positions. Eligible impacted associates will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at nearby Kmart or Sears stores, he added.
The Crossville store is one of three Tennessee stores named in this latest round of closures. Other Kmart locations named are located in Goodlettsville, at 230 Longhollow Pk., and in Greeneville, at 1317 Tusculum Blvd.
No Sears locations in Tennessee were named in this latest list of closures.
In November, SHC Thursday named 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores tagged for closure by January 2018 – with the Cookeville location listed among them. The Cookeville Sears store was later tagged for closure in a seperate announcement.
That same month, SHC released its third quarter 2017 results noting the company generated total revenues of approximately $3.7 billion during the third quarter of 2017 compared with revenues of $5 billion the year before; pointing to store closures as “contributing to over half of the decline.”
The report went on to state that revenues were also negatively impacted by reductions in the number of pharmacies in open Kmart stores and reductions in consumer electronics assortments in both Kmart and Sears stores. Total comparable store sales reportedly declined 15.3 percent during the quarter – Kmart comparable store sales decreased 13 percent while Sears as down 17 percent.