Easton Area Kmart Store Could Close in 2012

Sears Holdings Corp., the owner of Kmart, announced this week it will close 100 to 120 stores in 2012.

In the wake of poor sales during the holiday season, Sears Holdings Corp. announced earlier this week that it will shut as many as 120 Kmart and stores.

On Thursday, Sears Holdings released a list of 79 stores it already decided to close, including two in Pennsylvania, but not locally.

The Lehigh Valley region has eight Kmart Stores, including one on in Palmer Township. There are Sears stores in the Northampton Crossings shopping center in Lower Nazareth Township and in Phillipsburg Mall. 

Sears and Kmart sales have fallen every year since the two chains merged in 2005 to form Sears Holdings, according to The Morning Call.

This bad news comes on the heels of the heart-warming trend of anonymous benefactors stopping at local Kmarts and for families with children. 

At the , more than a dozen people went to the store to payoff strangers' layaway accounts.

After Patch reported on the , 14 more people appeared and paid off 20 contracts, according to store manager Rich Riddell. One angel, he said, read the article on Patch and went to the store because she thought it was a wonderful idea.

"One customer thought it was a hoax ... until she came in," Riddell said. "She broke down into tears when we brought out her kids' toys."

But that generosity wasn't enough to push Kmarts' parent company into the black.

Sears Holdings reported sales at stores opened at least a year ago, a closely watched retail measure known as same-store sales, tumbled 5.2 percent in the eight weeks ending on Christmas Day. That came from a 4.4 percent drop in sales at Kmart stores and a 6 percent slide in sales at domestic Sears stores.

If it closed 120 stores, that would account for about 3 percent of the company's properties.


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