The Kmart in Covington was spared in the latest round of store closings, though the bargain retail chain may close dozens more stores in the near future.
Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart and the various types of Sears stores, announced it was closing 79 Kmart and Sears stores around the country to raise cash after disastrous holiday shopping season, a move that sparked speculation about whether the 125-year-old retailer can avoid a death spiral fed by declining sales and deteriorating stores. It plans to close a total between 100 and 120 stores, according to the corporation.
Covington does not have a Sears department store, though an independent store on Highway 278 that sells appliances and lawnmowers will not be affected by the closings. The Kmart in the Covington Gallery on Turner Lake Road was not among the five Kmart and one Sears stores in Georgia on the chopping block.
A full-line Sears store in Macon and five Kmart stores - in Atlanta, Buford, Columbus Douglasville and Jonesboro - will close, though the date has not yet been announced.
While it did not have an exact total of employees who could lose their jobs, Sears said a typical store that is being closed employs between 40 to 80 people, meaning 4,000 to 9,600 people could be out of work.
The general manager of the Covington Kmart store on Friday declined to comment for this story. The media relations office of Sears Holding Corp. declined to answer questions about store closings or to offer further comment beyond their Dec. 27 announcement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.