Originally created 01/17/04

Kmart plans to close two more stores

TROY, Mich. -- Discount retailer Kmart Holding Corp. plans to close two more stores, including one in Michigan, when leases on the buildings expire.

The company notified employees at its stores in Saginaw County's Buena Vista Township and Broken Arrow, Okla., of the closings on Thursday, Kmart spokesman Jack Ferry said.

In total, Kmart will close eight stores in the coming months, Ferry said. The company is selling the leases to four California stores - two in San Jose, one in Santa Clara and one in Colma, he said.

A store in Atlanta and one in Colombia, Mo., are closing because the property owners plan to redevelop the sites, the company said in December. Ferry said Kmart has no plans to open new locations in those areas.

"We continue to manage and evaluate our store base with a focus on long-term profitability," he said, adding that the company still has more than 1,500 stores.

Troy-based Kmart closed nearly 600 stores and shed 57,000 employees after filing for bankruptcy protection in January 2002. It emerged from bankruptcy in May and said earlier this month that net income exceeded $250 million in November and December.

Dwayne Parker, Buena Vista Township supervisor, told The Saginaw News that the closure would be "devastating to the community." He said the township plans to mount a campaign to keep the store.

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