Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Florida will have just four Kmart stores. More Sears are closing, too.

What’s the future of Kmart and Sears in the Sunshine State after the latest round of closures?
Shoppers walk into the Kmart in Kenneth City, which will close by the start of 2020. By February, Florida will only have four Kmarts left. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 8
Updated Nov. 8

The same week Kmart’s parent company confirmed its last Tampa Bay location would close in early 2020, it announced another swath of mass closings that will leave just four Kmarts in Florida.

Come February, the nearest Kmart to Tampa Bay will be in Miami. The Kenneth City location near St. Petersburg will close in January. Many of the remaining Sears in Florida will be appliance outlets, not signature mall department stores.

In total, just 182 Kmart and Sears locations will be left, according to the chains’ parent company, Transformco. For comparison: JC Penney, also a struggling department store, has about 860 stores.

Transformco also announced $250 million in new financing from its owners and a “third-party investor" as it pursues new strategies.

Related: Tampa Bay’s last Kmart will close in January

"Transformco has faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges,” the parent company said in a statement. “We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors.”

Former Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert created Transformco in a last-ditch effort to save the chains by buying the company’s remaining assets out of bankruptcy in February 2019.

Sears department stores in Cutler Bay, Hialeah and Fort Myers will be closed by February, too. Just over a dozen of the full-service department stores will remain in Florida, including the ones in Brandon and Brooksville, according to the Sears store list.

Several Outlet stores like in Tampa and Clearwater or auto service centers like at University Mall in Tampa will also remain open. Sears Hometown stores — which Tampa Bay doesn’t have — are also unaffected by the string of closures.

Transformco acquired the Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown stores it didn’t already own this year. The outlets have discounted merchandise, while Sears Hometown has a small footprint and focuses on tools and appliances.

In total, more than 400 of those locations remain nationwide.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  2. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  3. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  4. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  5. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  6. Joseph Erickson, 53, looks out the window at the gulf-[front condo he thought he won at a foreclosure auction last year.t JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    "There have been serious allegations,'' Judge Keith Meyer said.
  7. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Shoppers in Tampa Bay can now skip the line and cash out alcohol on their own phones.
  8. Which cars hold their value best in Tampa Bay? Pictured is traffic in Tampa Bay in 2017. [Times file photo] ELLIOTT, LOREN  |  Elliott, Loren
    For the top spots, think big and rugged.
  9. A rendering of the planned Pinstripes bowling, bocce and bistro space that is planned to open at International Plaza alongside a Cinemex in spring 2021. Pinstripes
    In addition to upscale bowling and movies, there will also be bocce ball and a bistro.
  10. Tech Data's headquarters in Largo. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The company is being sold to a private equity firm.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement