K-Mart Corp. announces closure of Carson City store

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Shoppers at Kmart Supercenter in Carson City were surprised Tuesday to learn the store will close in the next three months.

Kmart Corp. announced its intention Tuesday afternoon. The company is closing 326 stores and eliminating 30,000 to 35,000 jobs as part of a plan to get out of bankruptcy by the end of April.

The Carson City store, which employs 153 people, will close in 60 to 90 days, said Michele Jasukaitis, corporation spokeswoman.

"I'm real sorry to hear it," said shopper Paul Gould, 42, of Carson City.

Shopper Denise Apalategui of Carson said she shops more often at the new Wal-Mart store in Douglas County, but occasionally takes advantage of sales at Kmart.

"It's gone downhill so badly," Apalategui said. "The shelves are never stocked, and it seems like the staff has lost their customer-service ability."

Carson City's store is one of 326 under-performing stores the corporation will close to "enhance the company's financial and operating performance," officials said in a news release Tuesday.

Other Nevada stores to close as part of the restructuring include a

Big Kmart on Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas and the Big Kmart on Kietzke Lane in Reno.

Carson City store director Kirk Hays said he did not know when the store would actually close its doors and was in the process of meeting with employees Tuesday afternoon to relay the news.

The store will hold clearance sales during the next few months before it closes, Jasukaitis said.

The discount chain that pioneered the blue-light special and introduced Martha Stewart styles to the masses still will have1,500 stores and nearly 200,000 employees if the cutbacks are approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. But it will emerge from bankruptcy one-third smaller than when it went in.

"We don't want to remain in bankruptcy a day longer than necessary," Kmart chief executive James Adamson said.

Kmart filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors a year ago after failing to compete with Wal-Mart's low prices and Target's hipper merchandise. It closed 283 stores and cut 22,000 jobs last year, but still lost more than $2 billion.

The latest round of closings affects stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Texas will lose 54 stores and a distribution center. Florida will lose 24 stores, California 19, North Carolina 18 and Georgia 16.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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