Thursday, February 13, 2014
The Kmart store at Inlet Square Mall is closing the end of April.
The store, which employs about 50 people, most part time, is one of the mall’s anchors.
News of the closing spread quickly Sunday as signs along U.S. Highway 17 Business promoted the going out of business sale.
“We have not been formally notified by Kmart that they are leaving so have no comment to make,” wrote Ann Kyle, the regional shopping center’s general manager in an e-mail. She added that the mall is actively seeking new tenants.
“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,” wrote Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent company, in an e-mail. He said that eligible employees will be offered the opportunity to apply for positions at other Sears or Kmart stores. They may also receive severance.
Riefs did not say what plans are in store for other Grand Strand Kmart or Sears stores.
The mall has struggled at times to attract and keep tenants, despite a multi-million dollar renovation in 2011. Mall officials had insisted that the center’s anchor base was strong. Other anchors include Belk, Stein Mart, JC Penney, Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grill and Books-a-Million.
The mall’s owners in October sued the theater chain for nonpayment of rent.
Most recently, the Fuzzy Peach, a chain frozen yogurt restaurant based in Wilmington, N.C., opened its first South Carolina store at Inlet Square.