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Kmart To Shutter St. Paul, International Falls Locations Before Christmas

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Attention Kmart shoppers: One of the last stores in the Twin Cities will close before Christmas, and it's not the only discounter leaving St. Paul.

Kmart on Maryland Avenue East will soon end its blue light specials for good. The St. Paul store will close its doors in mid-December.

"I don't like that it's closing because it's so close to my house," shopper Rory Woods said.

Kmart shoppers fear St. Paul will become a retail desert due to all the stores that have closed or are closing soon.

In January, Sears near the Capitol closed. One year ago, Herberger's on University Avenue shut down for good. The Kmart closing comes on the heels of Walmart on University Avenue announcing it will close Sept. 20. Its pharmacy closes a week earlier on Sept. 13.

"This is very convenient because of where I live at. Now, I will have to travel further because this one is closing," shopper Jazzmine Williams said.

Williams worries all affordable retail stores are leaving the area. She has twins, Larissa and Emerissa, and finding deals for them will be challenging once all the stores are closed.

"I'll just have to manage and go someplace different," Williams said.

St. Paul shoppers are already plotting which suburb they will now travel to in order to find affordable retail options.

"I have to go to Walmart over in Little Canada or Woodbury or Stillwater," Woods said.

"Everything is going to be online shopping pretty soon," Williams added.

Some blame the closings on the popularity of online shopping, but there are still those who prefer shopping in a store. There is no word yet on redevelopment opportunities these closings could produce.

Kmart's owner also plans to close its store in International Falls, which means there will only be one K-mart left in Minnesota: The one on Lake Street in Minneapolis.

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