The Kmart in Pocatello is going out of business.
According to Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings, the store at 3945 Pole Line Road will close to the public in mid-April.
“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said in an email response on Tuesday.
In addition to the Pocatello store, a Kmart in Logan, Utah is closing, but the Ammon Kmart is expected to remain open.
The store has 65 employees, most of whom are part-time or hourly, according to Riefs. Those who are eligible will receive severance and can apply for positions at other area Kmart or Sears stores.
Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad believes those employees will be able to find new jobs sooner rather than later due to the number of opportunities available in the area right now. Still, he was saddened to hear the news.
“I hate to see any business close its doors. It’s never a good thing for our community,” he said in a statement emailed to the Journal.
The Sears store in Chubbuck shut down in 2014.
Blad said the City of Pocatello will work with the store as it closes, as well as any future investors interested in the area.
Kmart will begin its liquidation sale on Jan. 24. Customers with layaway contracts can either pay off their purchases early or transfer their layaway contracts to a neighboring store or online. But that will require them to create a new contract, according to Riefs.
“This can be initiated by our customers and done by an associate in-store,” Riefs said in his emailed response. “We are communicating with our layaway customers as they come in weekly to make their payments. We truly apologize for any customer inconvenience.”
Kmart and Sears year-over-year sales have seen some decline.
“Kmart and Sears Domestic comparable store sales declined 7.5 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2015 with more than half of the decline coming from declines in apparel and consumer electronics, a lower margin category,” according to a Sears Holdings news release issued in December.
However, news release added that Kmart’s gross margin rate did see some improvement, while Sears Domestic’s fell.
This article was originally published in the Idaho State Journal. It is used here with permission.
Stephen Henderson, Teton Valley News