Sears Holding Co. on Thursday released a list of 79 Sears and Kmart stores it plans to close, and none are in the central San Joaquin Valley.
That was good news to several small Valley cities that depend on the company's stores for shopping opportunities -- and sales tax revenues.
The list, however, is not complete. The company announced on Tuesday that it would close up to 120 stores after a slump in holiday sales.
Three Sears stores in California will close -- two in San Diego and one in El Monte. No Kmarts are on the list. Sears operates stores in Fresno, Clovis, Hanford, Visalia and Merced. Kmart has stores in Clovis, Kingsburg, Dinuba, Lemoore and Visalia.
Kmart is one of the largest sales tax generators in Kingsburg and is the only large retail store other than grocery stores, said City Manager Don Pauley.
"We're very pleased to learn that our local Kmart store is not on the list for closure," Pauley said. "Its closure would force our residents to have to travel distances to get to either a Kmart or other retail opportunities as an alternative."
Dinuba also would get hit hard if its Kmart closed, said City Manager Ed Todd. Kmart is the anchor store in the shopping center on the city's east side, which also serves residents who live in Cutler, Orosi and Orange Cove, Todd said.
"We're in the process of doing some planning to try to do some things to enhance the shopping experience on the east side," Todd said. "It's very important for us to keep that Kmart store because it is the major draw on that side of town."