Poplar Bluff Kmart not on latest closure list

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Business Today

POPLAR BLUFF -- The Kmart store here, one of more than 1,800 locations around the United States, was spared the ax when the troubled retail giant announced Jan. 14 that 326 stores nationwide would close.

When the list of stores to be closed was released, six Missouri stores were on it -- but all were in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Ed Dust, executive vice president of the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce, expressed relief that the local store was not among those to be closed.

"That's great news," Dust said. "Especially for anybody that employs that many people."

Poplar Bluff city manager Tom Lawson also expressed relief that the store would remain open.

Lawson said he didn't have exact dollar figures on how much Kmart kicks into the city's coffers every year, but said it was in the thousands. High enough, he said, that the city would most certainly suffer for losing the tax revenue generated from the store.

"It's several thousand per year, and yes it would be a loss to us," Lawson said.

With several market analysts expressing doubt about Kmart's long-term prospects, Lawson said he would continue to feel concerned about the store.

"We're happy about the store staying open, but we've been anticipating that it may happen," Lawson said.

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