Phoenixville Kmart store to close

Lo­ca­tion among 142 Sears/Kmart clo­sures

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

Two Ch­ester County Kmart stores will soon be clos­ing. The stores — in Phoenixville and Thorn­dale — are on the list of planned Sears and Kmart store clo­sures an­nounced as part of Sears Hold­ings Corp. Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy fil­ing Mon­day.

As part of its fil­ing, the com­pany an­nounced it would close 142 un­prof­itable Sears and Kmart stores across the coun­try near the end of this year.

The Ch­ester County Kmart stores — at 1000 Nutt Road in

Phoenixville and 3205 Lin­coln High­way in Thorn­dale — are among 13 Penn­syl­va­nia Kmarts and three Sears lo­ca­tions that will close. Sears Hold­ings Corp. cur­rently op­er­ates 36 Kmart stores in Penn­syl­va­nia and 56 Sears stores.

Six of the stores that will close are in the greater Philadelphia re­gion, in­clud­ing Ben­salem, Langhorne, Glass­boro, N.J. and Dept­ford, N.J. Stores will also close in Al­len­town, Al­toona, Carlisle, Hum­mel­stown, Mata­moras, New Kens­ing­ton, Pitts­burgh, Pleas­ant Hills and DuBois.

Liq­ui­da­tion sales at these stores are ex­pected to be­gin soon, ac­cord­ing to Mon­day’s an­nounce­ment, al­though no sched­ule has yet been re­leased.

The 77 Sears stores and 65 Kmart stores clos­ing across the coun­try are in ad­di­tion to 46 un­prof­itable stores that had al­ready been an­nounced and ex­pected to close in Novem­ber.

Dig­i­tal First Me­dia reached out Tues­day to man­agers at both the Thorn­dale and Phoenixville Kmart stores. Both were un­able to “an­swer ques­tions at the store level,” ac­cord­ing to one, re­fer­ring ques­tions to cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Sears Hold­ings Corp.

A call to cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion about the stores was un­re­turned by press time Tues­day.

No in­for­ma­tion has been made avail­able about the num­ber of em­ploy­ees at each store, or spe­cific store in­for­ma­tion.

The Thorn­dale Kmart has been open at the same lo­ca­tion since the 1970s. On Tues­day, about 30 cars were parked in the lot at the Thorn­dale Kmart. Sev­eral shop­pers ex­pressed sur­prise at the news that the store would be clos­ing.

The Phoenixville Kmart is part of the Phoenixville Plaza Shop­ping Cen­ter, which is leased by Longview Prop­erty Group.

In its bank­ruptcy fil­ing Mon­day, Sears Hold­ings Corp., which op­er­ates both Sears and Kmart stores, listed as­sets of $1 bil­lion to $10 bil­lion and li­a­bil­i­ties of $10 bil­lion to $50 bil­lion.

The com­pany once had around 350,000 em­ploy­ees; as of Mon­day’s fil­ing, that num­ber was down to 68,000. At its peak, in 2012, it had 4,000 stores. Once the clo­sures are com­pleted, the com­pany will be left with a lit­tle more than 500.

Sears joins a grow­ing list of re­tail­ers that have filed for bank­ruptcy or liq­ui­dated in the last few years amid a fiercely com­pet­i­tive cli­mate. Some, like Pay­less ShoeSource, suc­cess­fully emerged from re­or­ga­ni­za­tion in bank­ruptcy court. Oth­ers, like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton Stores Inc., haven’t. Both re­tail­ers were forced to shut­ter their oper­a­tions this year soon af­ter Chap­ter 11 fil­ings.”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Kmart store at 3205 Lin­coln High­way in Thorn­dale and the Kmart at 1000 Nutt Road in Phoenixville will close as part of the Sears bank­ruptcy fil­ing. Six Kmart and Sears stores across the Greater Philadelphia re­gion are slated to close near the end of the year, the com­pany an­nounced Mon­day.

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