Bethany Clough

An ‘unprofitable’ Valley Kmart is closing — and local Sears stores may be shrinking

Work is happening inside the Sears store at Manchester Center, but the retailer is not saying what’s changing. About half the store has been available for lease, according to online listings.
Work is happening inside the Sears store at Manchester Center, but the retailer is not saying what’s changing. About half the store has been available for lease, according to online listings. The Fresno Bee

The Clovis Kmart is closing — and Sears stores in the Valley may be shrinking.

The parent company of both stores is shutting down 46 “unprofitable” locations nationwide. The Kmart at 1075 Shaw Ave. will close in November, a spokesman for Kmart’s parent company confirmed via email.

No other Kmarts or Sears in the central San Joaquin Valley were on the latest list of closures.

Liquidation sales at the stores may start as early as Thursday, Aug. 30.

The retailers have struggled in recent years with several rounds of closures. Last year, the Valley lost Kmart stores in Coalinga and Kingsburg.

Other California stores slated for closure in this round include Kmart stores in Antioch, Spring Valley and Los Angeles. A Sears store in Santa Cruz is also slated for closure.

Employees at the closing stores will receive severance pay and the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Kmart and Sears stores.

The company did not rule out future closures.

“We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which is a critical component to our integrated retail transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed.”

Changes could be in the works for Sears stores at Manchester Center in Fresno and at Sequoia Mall in Visalia.

Online listings show that about half of each store is up for lease.

At the Sears in Fresno, 98,770 square feet on the northern end of the store is available to rent. The 24,450-square foot Sears Auto Center, is also listed as available.

About half the Visalia Sears store at Mooney Boulevard and Caldwell Avenue, 35,050 square feet, is also available for lease, according to an online listing. The 10,340 square-foot auto center is also up for lease.

The company handling the leases did not return messages seeking comment on the status of the property and it’s not clear if a renter has been found. Although the Fresno Sears is attached to Manchester center, the Sears building and its land are owned by a separate company.

But work is already happening inside the Fresno Sears.

Portions of the store on the northeast corner and the eastern side of the store are blocked off with barricades. Signs thank customers for their patience during the remodel, but the company has not responded to questions about future plans for those spaces.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
Related stories from Fresno Bee

  Comments