After nearly 44 years in Orangeburg, Kmart announced Tuesday it will close its doors in the city this summer.
The Kmart store at 1470 Chestnut Street will close to the public in early August, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said. Sears owns Kmart.
The store, which is the only Kmart in the T&D Region, will begin its liquidation sale on May 19.
“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said.
“Those associates that are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores. Most of the associates are part time/hourly,” he said.
Store officials declined to comment on the number of employees impacted by the closure.
Kmart has had a presence in Orangeburg since October 1972.
It opened its Chestnut Street location in late 1991. The Reid’s grocery store next door closed its doors in May 2014.
The Orangeburg Kmart is among 78 stores closing across the country. A Camden store was scheduled for closure during this recent wave.
The ailing company, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, had said in February that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores following a “challenging” holiday season. The latest move is expected to generate a “meaningful level” of cash from the liquidation of store inventories and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate.
The closings are not the first for the discount chain over the years.
Kmart shut down 283 stores in 2002 while it was dealing with bankruptcy. The store announced it would close an additional 326 stores in 2003, including three in South Carolina.
Kmart and Sears merged in 2004. They have since declined from a total 3,500 locations to about 1,700 stores.