A popular store in Tazewell County will soon be closing it’s doors. Kmart in Cedar Bluff will be shutting down. Some customers aren’t too happy about it. 69-year-old Larry Hinkle has lived in Richlands his whole life. He got word about the store closing from his sister on Thursday January 14, 2016.
Hinkle said, “I love Kmart. That’s where we do all of our shopping.”
Hinkle said he will now travel to the Kmart in Bluefield once the one in Cedar Bluff closes.
Howard Riefs is the Director of Corporate Communications with Sears Holdings. That is the company that owns Kmart.
He said, “Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model.”
Riefs said the Kmart on Claypool Hill Road will close in the middle of April. Before that time, the store will still be open for customers. It’s located inside the Claypool Hill Mall. There will be a liquidation sale on January 24, 2016.
Sabrina Looney is the bookkeeper at Lee’s Floral and Gifts. That store is right across from Kmart. She feels for the employees Kmart.
Looney said, “First and foremost, we really do regret it because there’s a lot of employees that’s going to lose their jobs.”
Looney said their business has been open since 2007 and it’s been a slow year. She offers their business to customers who shopped at Kmart.
Looney said, “They actually had a garden center type floral thing. We do offer that here. We can help.”
Riefs said 50 employees work at the Kmart in Cedar Bluff. They will be eligible to receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores. Riefs told 59News most of the employees are part time or hourly.