Kmart Corp. has announced it is closing 72 of its less-profitable stores and holding a massive chain-wide blue-light special to get rid of its extra inventory.
The nation's No. 3 retailer, struggling against Wal-Mart and Target to keep the attention of shoppers, is in the midst of an ambitious yearlong plan to build its presence on the Internet as well as renovate and open new stores.
Most of the 72 stores will be shut down by November 1. That represents 3.3 percent of its 2,165 stores. Kmart says it is not worth the investment to try to make the stores profitable, because of their bad location or unsuitability for expansion.
The retailer also will put the mounds of merchandise filling its warehouses on sale and invest in more efficient inventory control.
Kmart announced at its shareholders' meeting in May that it would spend $340 million to open 20 new Big Kmart stores, expand 12 to 15 existing stores and adding five new Super Kmarts -- 24-hour centers that combine traditional Kmart discount stores with full grocery operations.
Kmart's stock price is worth less than half its value a year ago. It peaked at $15.25 on June 28, 1999, and was worth $7.06 at Monday's close.
| These 66 stores will be closed as of November 1, 2000:|
Additionally, six other stores in California, Ohio and New York will be closed later this year.