GV Kmart dodges the mass closure | TheUnion.com

GV Kmart dodges the mass closure

DETROIT – Kmart Corp. will close 284 stores in 40 states and Puerto Rico, cutting about 22,000 jobs, as part of its restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced Friday.

Grass Valley’s Kmart store on McKnight Way will remain open, said store manager Mary Isaacks.

“The store was never in any jeopardy of closing,” Isaacks said. “It’s one of the chain’s most profitable stores.”

The store is restocking its shelves after what Isaacks described as a down period. Trucks rolled into the Grass Valley store at a normal pace this week after the chain renegotiated contracts with suppliers.

“Hopefully by next week we should be fully stocked again,” Isaacks said.

The Auburn Kmart on Bell Road was not on the closing list either. The nearest stores to be closed were in Folsom, at 1013 Riley, and Sacramento, at 6100 Mack Road, according to the list released Friday.

The chain will close a total of 271 Kmart discount stores and 12 Kmart Supercenters in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Phoenix. One store is in Puerto Rico.

Kmart, the nation’s third-biggest discount retailer after Wal-Mart and Target, currently operates more than 2,100 stores nationwide. The job cuts amount to just under 9 percent of its work force of about 250,000.

“The decision to close these underperforming stores, which do not meet our financial requirements going forward, is an integral part of the company’s reorganization effort,” Chuck Conaway, chief executive, said in a statement.

“While the business rationale supporting this action is compelling, we deeply regret the impact these store closings will have on our associates, our customers and the communities where these stores are located,” he said.

The Troy-based retailer released the number of closings as it notified affected employees. The stores will remain open pending bankruptcy court approval.

Kmart said it anticipates that the sales generated from store closings and related cost savings will be about $550 million in 2002 and about $45 million annually after that.

An employee at a store in the Detroit suburb of Novi and one in Atlanta confirmed that employees were informed of those stores closing.

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