The Kanawha City Kmart will close in February, wiping out the chain store’s existence in West Virginia, as the Elkview Kmart is set to close next month.
The store’s parent company, citing a “difficult retail environment,” included the Kanawha City location in a Thursday announcement that it would close 96 Kmart and Sears stores nationwide by early next year.
Liquidation sales are expected to begin Dec. 2 — at the height of the holiday shopping season.
John Hudnall, store manager at the Kanawha City location, would not comment on the closure and looming layoffs.
There was no signage Friday afternoon announcing the upcoming closure. Signs around the store indicated that the MacCorkle Avenue location is no longer accepting new layaway purchases.
Darlene Green, who lives in Malden, said she is upset about the closure. She said she shops at the store two to three times a week.
“I hate it,” she said. “You can get good bargains here.”
Like Green, Catherine Marshall loves shopping at Kmart for good deals. She said the store carries some of her favorite brands, like Chico’s and Basic Editions.
“I want to cry,” Marshall said.
The Kmart located at Crossings Mall, in Elkview, will close by mid-December.
Transformco, the parent company of Kmart and Sears, announced the Elkview closure in August as part of its decision to close 100 stores.
The Patrick Street Kmart, on Charleston’s West Side, closed at the beginning of the year.
In February of this year, former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert purchased Sears’ assets out of bankruptcy and moved the company under its new name.
The company recently acquired $250 million in lending ahead of the holidays, according to Thursday’s release.
“We will continue to evaluate our Sears and Kmart footprint, consistent with our overall retail and service strategy,” the company said.
Transformco will operate 182 stores after the closures.