FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Transformco, the owners of retail giants Kmart and Sears, announced that dozens of stores are set to close at the beginning of next year.
Some shoppers at the Kmart in Frederick, Maryland, are shocked it will be their final season at the store.
“I just found out this morning. I’m surprised,” said Kmart shopper, Sharon Taylor.
Others say they saw it coming.
“I wasn’t surprised. I know that this one was kind of hanging on,” nearby resident, Tim McGrew said.
On Thursday, Transformco announced that 96 Kmart and Sears stores across the country will begin going-out-of-business sales on December 2.
A statement from the company read in part:
“Transformco has faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges. We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors.”
For some longtime residents, this Kmart has been a staple place to shop along the Golden Mile.
“We’ve been here thirty-plus years. We’ve come here many times shopping and I was surprised to find it was closing,” said Frederick resident and occasional Kmart shopper, Neil Donnelly.
“I come over here like maybe once a month. Just to come in and see what kind of sales and stuff are here. There’s a lot of people around here that shop here. The locals that live right here in Frederick, that don’t have cars, or whatever, they walk over here to use the Kmart,” Taylor explained.
The list of nearby store closures also includes a Kmart in Hagerstown, and Sears locations in Cumberland, Maryland, and also Manassas and Winchester, Virginia.”
After the round of closings, the company will maintain 182 stores nationwide.
Locals here hope that the empty building gets taken up by another business to fill the void.
“Maybe we can shift the focus away from like mass consumers like Wal-Mart, Kmart kind of things and do something a little more community-focused,” said Claire Donnelly.
The 96 Kmart and Sears stores slated for closing will permanently shut down by February 2020.