Bethany Clough

Two Valley Kmart stores to close

A Kmart employee pushes shopping carts into the store in the Northridge section of Los Angeles Wednesday in this file photo from 2004.
A Kmart employee pushes shopping carts into the store in the Northridge section of Los Angeles Wednesday in this file photo from 2004. AP

Kmart stores in Kingsburg and Coalinga will close at the end of March.

The stores are part of 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores that the parent company Sears Holdings plans to close. Liquidation sales around the nation will start as early as Friday.

No local stores are on the Sears closure list.

The company has struggled in recent years with slipping sales. It sold off parts of the business to run the day-to-day functions of what remained, according to Conlumino, a New York retail research and analysis firm. The firm essentially compared the company to a sinking ship.

Sears Holdings called the closures difficult but necessary in a news release:

“Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around. But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success.

Local Kmart employees were notified Wednesday, Jan. 4. Workers who are eligible will receive severance and can apply for open positions at other Kmart or Sears stores. Kmart’s website lists stores still in Clovis, Visalia and Lemoore.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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