This shopping center Kmart was empty after the Madawaska Kmart store closed in the fall of 2018.

Maine’s final two Kmart stores will close by the end of the year as the retailer continues to struggle for profitability.

Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holdings, confirmed that stores in Augusta and Auburn will close.

“After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Kmart stores in Auburn and Augusta,” Larry Costello, a spokesman for Sears and Kmart, wrote in an email.

A service desk employee at the Kmart in Auburn, Warren Fink, said the stores “will close by mid-December, probably sooner.

“Liquidation sales will start in about two weeks, once we get the signage,” he said.

Fink, who has only worked at the store for one month, was told of the closures in a letter he received from Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart.

“I was given a letter,” he said. “I’ll just start again. There’s nothing else to do.”

The closures were first reported Aug. 31 by USA Today.

Although Sears Holdings has not listed the store closures on its website, as is its custom, the newspaper listed the 100 Sears and Kmart locations across the country that will close by the end of this year.

The number of people who will be laid off was not available.

The company closed the Madawaska Kmart, the only major store in town, last fall, along with the store in Waterville. The Bangor location closed in 2017.