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Kmart gets Green Light to Close 300 Stores
Jan 29, 2003
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Kmart won bankruptcy court approval to close the stores, a move the discount retailer says will eliminate about 35,000 jobs, or 17 percent of its work force.

Kmart's lead attorney, Jack Butler, said the store closings would cost "in the range of" U.S. $300 million.

The company filed its plan to emerge from bankruptcy recently, vowing to return to profitability in 2004.

The store closing plan faces more than a dozen objections, mostly from landlords who are concerned about how any "going-out-of-business" sales would affect their property.

Kmart said it has reached agreement with landlords at 10 stores to restructure leases, so it is now seeking to close 316 stores as opposed to its original plan of 326 closings.

Combined with the 283 it closed last year, Kmart will have cut some 30 percent off its store base once the second round of closings is complete, leaving it with about 1,500.

The store closings last year cost Troy, MI, U.S.-based Kmart about $200 million. But Butler pointed out that this year the company is proposing to close more stores, including more of its larger Super K outlets, a format that includes grocery stores.

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