Monday, October 3, 2022

Greater Williamsburg Kmart boosts sale prices as closure draws near

Kmart in Williamsburg will close by the end of the year. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Kmart in Williamsburg will close by the end of the year. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

Those who want to get in on the deals at Williamsburg’s Kmart store are running out of time.

The close date for the store at 118 Waller Mill Road in York County has still not been publicly released, but sales are continuing, according to flyers being handed out at the store Wednesday.

On Wednesday, signs in the front entry said merchandise was up to 75 percent off storewide.

Inside, much of the store was empty. Outer aisles were sectioned off and shelves were empty, and remaining products were consolidated in the center of the store. The store also had utility and displays racks for sale, as well as rolling carts.

A corporate spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment, and a voicemail box was unavailable Wednesday after WYDaily called the media contact phone line.

The Williamsburg Kmart store is one of 142 unprofitable stores nationwide that are closing after Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holdings Corporation, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15.

In October, Sears said the stores would close “near the end of the year.”

The company assessed each of its stores across the country and identified those which were under-performing and not profitable — 98 of the stores were unprofitable in fiscal year 2017 and the other 44 produced “flat or marginal profits.”

Sears anticipates saving more than $40 million by closing the under-performing stores.

Liquidation sales have been ongoing at the Williamsburg Kmart since Sears filed for bankruptcy in October. The store has advertised the sales with a yellow banner across the storefront, as well as large “sale” signs at busy area intersections.

The bankruptcy filing comes after a years-long effort to make the company profitable again, Sears Holdings Chairman Edward S. Lampert said in the bankruptcy filing.

“While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the Company’s immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer,” Lampert said. “The Chapter 11 process will give Holdings the flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet, enabling the Company to accelerate its strategic transformation, continue right sizing its operating model, and return to profitability. Our goal is to achieve a comprehensive restructuring as efficiently as possible.”

Lampert added, “We also thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to providing millions of Americans with value and convenience.”

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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