Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 28, 2011

Sears Holding announces store closings

Samantha Newburn
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — After surviving one round of cuts in 2002, Effingham Kmart could be on the chopping block again as Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close between 100 and 120 Kmart and Sears stores.

    It’s unknown when the list will be released naming which locations will be closed. The company’s website had not posted closings as of presstime Tuesday.

    Kmart Store Manager Theresa Mathy declined to comment on the possibility of Effingham’s location closing, clarifying she wasn’t authorized to comment directly on the matter.

    The small Sears stores in Effingham and Vandalia should stay intact though, said owner Randy Ruholl, as the company plans to only close corporate-owned stores. It’s his understanding that the locally-owned stores will avoid being closed.

    “This morning was the first I’d heard about it,” Ruholl said, who hadn’t been notified his stores could be in jeopardy.

    But larger, company-owned stores, such as Sears at Cross County Mall in Mattoon, may not avoid the ax.

    The announcement that several stores will be closed was made Tuesday morning. The reason for the closings was a weak holiday shopping season for the retailer, according to the Associated Press.

    In 2002, Kmart Corp. closed 283 of its stores, including Mattoon and Decatur. Effingham’s location narrowly missed the cuts, surprising some locals as Wal-Mart’s Supercenter was aggressively taking business away from the dated chain.

    Sears and Kmart merged in 2005, about two years after Kmart Corp. declared bankruptcy, according to AP.