Sikeston's Kmart listed among stores to close

Friday, March 15, 2002

SIKESTON -- The Kmart here is among 284 stores closing as part of the retailer's restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced March 8.

The closings will mean a loss of 22,000 jobs, presumably including the 72 workers at the Sikeston store.

Sikeston mayor Jerry Pullen said he has asked Bill Green, the city's director of economic development, to contact Kmart Corp. in Troy, Mich., and find out specifics about when the store will close.

Pullen noted that the store facility is not owned by Kmart and is actually owned by Florida investors. He said the city was contacted three weeks ago by a real estate broker from Philadelphia who has been retained by the owners, and suggested that they had plans to keep the building as a retail store.

Missy Marshall, the director of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, said she was told by corporate officials at Kmart that the building's rent and lease agreement was a major factor in the decision to close the store.

In Missouri, two stores will close in addition to Sikeston's. One is in St. Peters, while the other is in Gladstone in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Kmart, the nation's third biggest discount retailer after Wal-Mart and Target, currently operates more than 2,100 stores nationwide. The job cuts amount to just under 9 percent of its work force of about 250,000.

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