ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Store after store, Kmart has been closing its doors across the nation. Now the last one in Alabama is shutting down too.
Since Kmart stores around him closed down, Randall Brooks drives from Scottsboro to go to Albertville’s Kmart. “I just like the deals they have in there,” Brooks said.
Now that Kmart location is following suit. “The mayor got a call first thing yesterday morning from the corporation. They said they were going to announce it,” said Albertville Economic Development Director Mike Price.
The store was one of three left in the state. The locations in Athens and Tuscaloosa closed their doors last month. Kmart has been in Albertville for 35 years.
City leaders estimate about 50 or 60 full and part-time jobs will be lost. The closure also leaves a retail gap in Albertville. “For many, many years retailers have asked us about this location,” Price said. “We certainly hate that it looks like it is the end of the Kmart brand, especially in our city, but certainly there will be things that can come in that will take the place and fill that gap.”
City leaders said they have already started the process of filling that gap. “Certainly developers who have been looking at that for some time have contacted us, so it’s a pretty active market right now as far as what might end up in that location,” Price said.
As for loyal shoppers, they’re sad to see it go. “This is the closest one that we have to us in Scottsboro,” Brooks said.
The Albertville store is one of 45 Kmart stores and 28 Sears stores that will be closing next year.
A statement from the company reads:
“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size. In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members. The company on Thursday, November 2 informed associates at 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores that we will be closing these stores in late January 2018.
“It’s important to note that these stores will remain open to serve members during the holiday season. Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores. Customers can use the store locator function on our websites to find the location of their nearest Kmart and Sears stores. Liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 at these closing stores. Following is a complete list of the impacted stores.”