Detroit Free Press
Published 9:28 PM EST Nov 7, 2019
At its peak, Kmart had 134 locations in Michigan. Now, the fallen retailer is down to just one.
Two of the three remaining Kmart stores in the state, located in Warren and Waterford, will close its doors, the company announced Thursday.
The two metro Detroit closures are part of larger list of 96 Kmart and Sears stores that will shut down nationwide. The cuts are an attempt for the company, also known as Transformco, to keep the two retailers afloat since acquiring assets of Sears Holdings in February. In a news release, Transformco said they have “faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges” since the acquisition, and that in order to be successful, they are “pruning operations that have struggled.”
Kmart previously announced in September plans to shutter nearly 100 stores in December or earlier, including eight in Michigan: Belleville, Clio, Grayling, Hastings, Menominee, Midland, Oscoda and Marine City.
According to the Macomb Daily, the Warren Kmart, located at 2000 East 10 Mile Road, will close by the end of the year. The store in Waterford, located at 5100 Dixie Highway, will close by February of next year. In addition, a Sears in Lansing is set to close at that time.
The closures leave one remaining Kmart store in Michigan, in Marshall located at 15861 Michigan Ave.
“We will endeavor to create and deliver value through a strategic combination of our better-performing retail stores and our service businesses, brands and other assets, and expect to realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate,” said Transformco in a statement. “These assets include Innovel, which provides logistics solutions to businesses and consumers, Sears Home Services as well as Shop Your Way and financial services, and our Kenmore and DieHard brands. These businesses will also benefit from the recent acquisition by an affiliate of Transformco of Sears Hometown — a network of more than 400 independently-owned and operated, dealer-managed smaller-format stores that are known for offering customers a range of home products, including appliances, lawn & garden, tools and sporting goods.”
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“Members can use the store locator function on our website to find the location of their nearest Kmart and Sears stores. We also encourage members to shop at Sears.com and Kmart.com.”
After this recent round of closures, Transformco will operate 182 Kmart and Sears stores in the U.S. Only one Kmart in the state will remain open: a store in Marshall outside of Battle Creek.
The Kmart chain got its start 57 years ago as the big-box brand of the Detroit-based S.S. Kresge Co. It was for decades one of southeast Michigan’s biggest employers and the nation’s second-largest retailer. The company’s former headquarters were in Troy, with close to 5,000 people employed there at its peak.