Citing poor sales, parent company Sears Holdings Corp. reported that it is closing two Kmart stores in Kent County — on 68th Street in Byron Township and N. Kent Mall NE in Plainfield Township. The beleaguered company said its liquidation sale begins Sept. 22. The closures are expected in mid-December — and plans are to remain open for customers until then.
Just this past May at its quarterly meeting, Sears Holdings said it planned to restore profitability to the company and fund its transformation into a member-focused company.
But financial analysts worry that the future of the Kmart brand will continue to decline despite its efforts to make a comeback, especially when compared with its main national competitors, Target and Walmart.
Sears opened its first retail store and catalog center in 1925 and was America’s largest retailer until 1989, when it was surpassed by Walmart. Once an American icon of business and merchandising, Sears has been struggling as a company for years.
In 2005 Sears declared bankruptcy and was bought by Kmart, merging the two companies into Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC.)
There are still some Kmart locations open in West Michigan in Battle Creek, Greenville, Hastings, Muskegon and Marshall.