Kmart closing

A store closing banner hangs on the Big K Kmart at 24th Street West and Central Avenue in Billings prior to its closing in 2016.

Gazette file photo

Kmart stores in Glendive and Great Falls will close in October, part of the latest round of cutbacks for the parent company of the struggling retail giant.

Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart, announced Friday the planned closure of 35 Kmart stores and eight Sears stores nationwide this fall.

In a blog post announcing the decision, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert wrote that changing consumers habits are forcing the company to re-evaluate its brick-and-mortar space. Sears and Kmart are among the legacy retailers hit hardest by the emergence of Amazon and other online retailers.

“We have fought hard for many years to return unprofitable stores to a competitive position and to preserve jobs and, as a result, we had to absorb corresponding losses in the process. So, it is obvious that we don’t make decisions to close stores lightly. Our efforts have been, and will continue to be, fact-based, thoughtful and disciplined, with the goal of making Sears Holdings more relevant and more competitive for our members and other constituents,” Lampert wrote.

The Glendive store is at 1515 W. Bell St. The Great Falls address is 1000 Third St. NW. Liquidation sales will begin July 13, and employees will be eligible for severance, according to Sears Holdings.

Also on the closure list is the Kmart store in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

In Billings, the Sears store at West Park Promenade was spared this round of cuts. Sears Holdings shuttered the Billings Kmart at the corner of Central Avenue and 24th Street West last year.

This latest round of closures is in addition to the 265 announced closures earlier this year, which included a Kmart store in Sheridan, Wyoming, according to Business Insider.

The new closings will bring the total number of Sears and Kmart stores nationwide to fewer than 1,140, nearly half the amount five years ago, Business Insider reported.

6
13
2
2
1

Business reporter for The Billings Gazette.