Advertisement
  1. Business

Lutz Kmart one of dozens across the nation to close

Published Jan. 14, 2016

A Kmart store in Lutz will close in March, along with dozens of other stores across the country, according to the retailer's parent company, Sears Holdings Corp.

The store at 22920 State Road 54, which has 62 employees, will close for good in mid March. Liquidation sales begin this weekend.

"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," said company spokesman Howard Riefs.

The Kmart in Lutz is one of two stores in Florida that will close this year. The other is in Daytona Beach. Riefs declined to comment on how many stores across the country are closing, but reports show that closures are happening nationwide.

Some Kmart stores were sold last year by its parent company to New York-based Seritage Growth Properties. In the agreement, Sears Holdings leases back the stores from the real estate investment firm. Riefs said the local Kmart rented the space, which is owned by the Sembler Co.

Department store chains like Macy's and Sears posted poor holiday sales this year. Sears has struggled for years, and closed hundreds of its namesake department stores and Kmart stores. The retailer has seen revenue plunge year after year and by nearly half in the past decade.

Nearly every other retailer is a competitor in some way with Sears and Kmart stores. Home Depot and Lowe's compete for sales on appliances. Fast-fashion brands have diminished its apparel sales. And online retailers like Amazon continue to cut into the chains' bottom line.

In an effort to improve sales locally, the Sears store at Westfield Countryside mall in Clearwater leased part of its department store space to Whole Foods Market in 2014.

There are 44 Kmart stores in Florida, minus the two that will close. This includes stores in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Hudson, Ellenton, Brandon and Crystal River.

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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