The Kmart in Presque Isle will be closing this summer, marking another lost big-box retailer at the Aroostook Centre Mall.
Sears Holdings, the Illinois-based company that owns Kmart and Sears, is closing the Kmart in Presque Isle in August in a round of closures affecting more than 70 stores of both retailers nationwide, according to Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications.
No other Maine Kmart or Sears store closures have been announced, Riefs said.
“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said.
There are four Sears department stores and auto centers in Maine in Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick and South Portland, and six Kmart locations in Bangor, Augusta, Auburn, Madawaska, Presque Isle and Waterville.
Kmart was one of the Aroostook Centre Mall’s original big-box anchor tenants, along with Sears, which closed more than a year ago, putting more than 50 people out of work.
Riefs did not estimate how many employees would be affected but said that most of the Presque Isle Kmart employees work part time and that the company will offer severance pay and the chance to apply for open positions at other Sears or Kmart stores.
The Presque Isle store will begin a liquidation sale on May 19 and then close to the public sometime in August, Riefs said.
Aroostook Centre Mall Manager Patti Crooks did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment on the announcement.
Sandra Levesque of Grand Isle was shopping at the Kmart Tuesday afternoon with a friend. They took an Aroostook Regional Transportation System bus to Presque Isle to shop at the mall and were disappointed to learn that the Kmart was closing. While there is a Kmart closer to them, in Madawaska, they said they liked the selection in Presque Isle — “clothes, food, toys, jewelry, everything,” Levesque said. Her friend picked up a $7 pair of shoes.