Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – The Kmart store on Andy Devine Avenue has again been spared from the chopping block as parent company Sears Holdings Corp. announced the closing of 66 stores nationwide.
Included on the list of closings circulated Tuesday are Kmart stores in Bullhead City, Nogales, Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, and Blythe, California.
The closure of 49 Kmart stores and 17 Sears stores is part of the company’s operational downsizing in the face of declining brick-and-mortar retail sales.
The latest list brings total closings to about 180 for 2017. That leaves fewer than 900 Kmart and 700 Sears stores around the country.
That’s a scary thought for Kmart shoppers such as Carolyn, who wouldn’t give her last name. She comes from Seligman about once a month to shop at the Kmart at 3340 Andy Devine Ave.
“I keep being afraid they’re going to close it,” she said Friday outside the store, holding a bag with some jeans she bought for her sister in New Mexico. “I know they’ve been closing all over and this one’s not that busy, so whenever we can, we come here.”
Kmart’s pharmacy has closed, and a caller to the Daily Miner said all her prescriptions have been transferred to CVS Pharmacy.
Sears is among 19 national retail chains that Moody’s identified as being in “danger” this spring. Others include Payless Shoes, Clair’s, Rue21, Gymboree, Tom’s Shoes and Totes. Huge retailers such as Macy’s and Target are reporting poor earnings.
Earlier this year, JC Penney closed its store at the Riverside Mall in Bullhead City.
Analysts point to a “retail bubble,” similar to the housing bubble that burst about a decade ago, leading to a foreclosure crisis in cities such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Sacramento, California.
Online shopping has grown exponentially, and shopping malls are “reformatting” their experience with restaurants, theaters and specialty shops. In the face of it all, new stores are opening, though many are discount and “dollar” stores.
Comparable sales have declined for Sears every year since 2005, with net losses totaling $8 billion since 2010. Issues have boiled down to a lack of store and merchandise upgrades in light of competitors’ offerings, while Kmart was left behind by more nimble discounters.
“It’s not as crazy as Walmart,” Kmart shopper Carolyn said. “And the prices are comparable, sometimes better. I like the quality of clothes better than Walmart.”