December 16, 2018
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‘Unprofitable’ Bangor Kmart to close in April

BDN file | BDN
BDN file | BDN
An aerial photo from 1977 shows initial work being done on site preparation for the Bangor Mall on Stillwater Avenue. The Kmart building, the first retail store built in the current mall area, is in the foreground.

BANGOR, Maine — The Kmart department store on Hogan Road is closing in mid-April as part of a company plan that “accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores,” a company official said Thursday.

The number of employees to be laid off was not disclosed. A company spokesman, Howard Reifs, said that Illinois-based Kmart or parent company Sears Holdings Corp. will relocate or offer severance packages to eligible workers. Most are part-timers, Reifs said.

Reifs called the closing a “difficult, but necessary decision.”

“We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced,” Reifs said in a statement released Thursday.

The company told employees on Tuesday that it will close more than 30 Sears and Kmart stores in early 2017, starting in March, according to Business Insider. A partial list of the targeted stores compiled by the financial news website did not include the Bangor store or any other Maine Kmart or Sears locations.

Sears, which has posted a quarterly profit just once in the last four years, said in April it would close 68 Kmart discount stores and 10 Sears department stores to cut costs, according to Reuters. One of those closed Kmart discount stores was at a mall in Presque Isle.

Kmart has five stores in Maine, according to Kmart.com. They are in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Madawaska and Waterville.

Sears.com lists full-size department and automotive repair centers in Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick and South Portland, with Hometown stores in Belfast, Biddeford, Caribou, Ellsworth, Farmington, Fort Kent, Houlton, Newport and Windham. Hometown stores are smaller, locally owned establishments that offer many products and services, including home appliances, sporting goods, tools and consumer electronics, according to sears.com.

Kmart hopes to keep at least some of its Bangor customer relations intact with its Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps, Reifs said.

 


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