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Kmart in Clearwater to close after holiday shopping season

CLEARWATER — A Kmart store across from Westfield Countryside mall in Clearwater will close after the holidays, the retailer's parent company Sears Holdings Corp. announced last week. The retailer is located at 26996 US Hwy. 19 North. The cut includes 45 Kmarts (two others in Florida) and 18 Sears stores. Earlier this year, the company also shuttered about 250 locations nationwide.

The Illinois-based retailer is trying to turn around business as more customers shift to more online shopping. The company plans to cut "unprofitable stores" and transform its business model to match digital capabilities with the needs and preference of its customers, the company said in a press release.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as Thursday. Many of the holiday sales for both chains began last week. In Tampa Bay, there remains five Kmarts and four Sears locations. No word on how many employees will be affected by the latest closures.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Sears to close additional 20 stores

After the announcement, Sears' shares fell nearly 4 percent Friday to close at $5.23 a share.

Contact Tierra Smith at tsmith@ tampabay.com. Follow @bytierrasmith.

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