Uncertain future for Post Office Express when Kmart closes

U.S. Postal Service officials in Carson City said Friday they are unsure what will happen with the Post Office Express inside Kmart.

Postmaster Doug Hval said he learned of the closure of the Kmart store this week and was told the small post office must be out of the building by March 1.

Many residents are concerned about the loss of the only post office in Carson that is open seven days a week.

"Kmart, who cares?" wrote James Avit in a note to the Nevada Appeal on Friday. "It's the post office I'll miss."

The postal retail outlet serves many north Carson City residents from inside the store. Hval said postal officials in the region are in the process of deciding how to proceed.

"We're really just in the early stages of exploring possibilities," Hval said.

Hval is working with the postal district retail division in Las Vegas to look at options.

It's premature to say exactly what will happen, he said, but it is possible the express office will close and not be replaced.

Owners of the Northtowne Plaza, where Kmart is located, are listed with the Carson City Assessor's Office as C & A Investments with a post office box address in Carson City. Gold Dust Commercial Associates lease the building, but no one from that office returned phone calls Friday to discuss plans for the building once Kmart moves out.

Retail shops in the strip mall anchored by Kmart were concerned about the changes.

"Of course we're concerned about it," said Donna Long, manager of Sa-Hair-A beauty salon. "Not only are we losing the availability of shopping at the store, but employees are losing their jobs. I hate to see that. We have a lot of friends and clients over there."

Little People Portraits owner Toni Langson said she thinks the closure is bad for business and will take away the traffic through the center, but her store might benefit from the closure of Kmart's portrait studio.

Langson hired the Kmart portrait studio employee who walked into her shop looking for work after hearing of the closure this week.

Several Kmart customers were upset after hearing the news. Mollie, of Carson City, who declined to give her last name, said she was up until 3:30 a.m. one night after hearing the news. Mollie had worked at the store.

"I'm really angry and upset about Kmart closing," Mollie said. "Some of my friends who I worked with are ready to retire, and what are they going to do? It's got my blood pressure boiling."

A Kmart customer said she was given a flyer while in the check-out line Friday and told to call or write the corporation in support of keeping the store open, which she did immediately. She said she didn't think there was a way to rally for the store, "but it's pretty great if we do," she said.

Customers who want to voice their support can call Kmart Corp. customer service at (866) 562-7848, or write Kmart Corp., 3100 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084.


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