MARYLAND — One Kmart and one Sears store in Maryland are scheduled to close by the end of 2019, according to multiple reports. The company has not yet released an official list of the locations to close, but multiple news outlets have reported that stores in Stevensville and Gaithersburg are on the list.
Patch has reached out to Kmart representatives and will update this story once more information is available. USA Today reported the list of store closings. The two newest Maryland store closures are:
- Gaithersburg Sears: 701 Russell Ave.
- Stevensville Kmart: 200 Kent Manor Drive
Liquidation sales for the latest round of stores to close are set to begin in mid-September, Kmart PR Director Larry Costello confirmed in a statement.
"We encourage customers to continue shopping on Kmart.com for all their product needs," he said.
A number of Sears and Kmart stores also have closed in recent years as the company has struggled to survive. The closings come after a last-minute reprieve saved Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart, from liquidation.
In a recent message to shareholders, Sears said, "We have made the difficult but necessary decision to close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores (across the country)."
Brick-and-mortar stores continue to struggle to increase online sales in what analysts have dubbed the retail apocalypse. The beloved chain Toys R Us was likely the most high-profile retail closure in 2018, but it's just one of many stores that you won't be seeing in 2019. In March 2019, JCPenney said it would close 18 stores this year, which included the location at Lake Forest Mall in Gaithersburg, which shut down July 5.
Toys R Us shut down its operations in the U.S., closing 735 stores. The iconic toy store closed all of its locations in the U.S. by late June 2018, including 17 Toys R Us stores in Maryland: Annapolis, Baltimore, Bel Air, Clarksburg, Clinton, Columbia, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie, Hagerstown, Owings Mills, Oxon Hill, Pasadena, Salisbury, Silver Spring, Towson and Waldorf.
Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018, announcing it would close 142 unprofitable locations, including five stores in Maryland: Bowie, Columbia and Westminster Sears as well as the Oxon Hill and Prince Frederick Kmart shops. Those stores closed by the end of 2018, while the Bethesda Sears closed in February 2019; the latter was announced in November as part of a set of 40 store closings nationwide.
That means 11 Sears stores remained in the state of Maryland by March 2019: Annapolis, Bel Air, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie, Salisbury, Security Square, Silver Spring, Waldorf and White Marsh.