Oak Ridge Kmart closing in December

OAK RIDGE (WATE) – A Kmart in Anderson County is closing in December.

A Sears spokesperson told WATE 6 On Your Side that the store located at 370 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge will begin its liquidation sale on September 22. The company says the store is “unprofitable.”

“We often hear from our members who are disappointed when we close a store, but our Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps allow us to maintain these valued relationships long after a store closes its doors. As a result, we hope to retain a portion of the sales previously associated with this store by maintaining our relationships with the members who shopped this location,” said a spokesperson.

In 2016, Kmart stores closed in Cleveland, Clarksville, Memphis, Athens, Maryville, Sweetwater and North Knxoville. Sears Holdings announced in April they were closing 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores this summer. That accounts for about 5 percent of its store base, which is nearly 1,700 stores.

Despite shedding assets, Sears Holding Corporation stocks continue to drop. Their stock has dropped more than 73 percent over the last five years. Sears said they are just trying to get their brands back on track.

Sears Holdings has struggled for years with weakening sales, unable to keep up with companies that sell appliances, like Home Depot, or general merchandise, like Wal-Mart, or everything, as is the case with Amazon.com. The company has been selling assets to raise cash. In 2011, it operated 4,000 stores. Sears is also shifting away from its focus on running a store network into a member-focused business. Loyal shoppers receive incentives to buy. But those moves haven’t gained much traction with shoppers.

Sears declined to say how many workers will be affected from the store closures, but it said that an overwhelming majority of the jobs are part-time positions. Eligible associates will receive severance and will have the chance to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

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