Kmart closing Cleveland store

ALLEN MINCEY Banner Staff Writer
Posted 1/13/16

One of the first tenants at Bradley Square Mall will be shutting its doors permanently in March.

Kmart will be closing to the public.

Howard Riefs, director of Corporate Communications for …

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Kmart closing Cleveland store

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One of the first tenants at Bradley Square Mall will be shutting its doors permanently in March.

Kmart will be closing to the public.

Howard Riefs, director of Corporate Communications for Sears Holdings Corporation, said that the store, located at 200 Paul Huff Parkway, will remain open for customers until it closes in mid-March. He did not give an exact date closing date.

Until then, the local Kmart will be operating as usual, though it will be liquidating its merchandise.

“The store will begin its liquidation sale on Jan. 14,” he said.

Riefs said that store closures “are a 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.” He said this will affect 67 employees of the store.

“Those associates that are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores,” he said, adding that most of the associates are part time or on hourly pay.

Riefs said store employees were notified of the planned closing Tuesday morning.

He stated the local store was the only one that is closing in the region, and that it will have no bearing on the Sears Home Store, as Sears Hometown is a separate company and will not be affected. Kmart is a part of the Sears Holdings Corporation, but is a separate entity from the Home Store.

Riefs said that layaway contracts at the store have a couple of options: either pay off the contract early, or transfer the layaway contract to a neighboring store or online.

“This does not entail cancelling the contract and re-creating it,” he explained. “This can be initiated by our customers and done by an associate in-store. We are communicating with our layaway customers as they come in weekly to make their payments.”

Hazel Key, representing Bradley Square Mall, said the giant indoor retail facility sees this as an opportunity.

“We view this as an opportunity to continue our redevelopment and remerchandising of the center,” Key said.

Riefs said of the decision, “We truly apologize for any customer inconvenience.”

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