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Rome's Kmart set to close in August

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Kmart

Kmart General Manager Mike Barger confirmed on Monday plans to close the discount store at 102 Hicks Drive in East Rome.

The store is slated to close in early August, according to Howard Riefs, spokesman for parent-company Sears Holdings Corp. in Chicago.

The Kmart closing marks a complete pullout of Sears Holdings Corp. stores from the Rome market. The company completed the closure of its Sears store in the Mount Berry Mall in late March.

“The store will begin its liquidation sale on May 19,” Riefs said in an email to the Rome News-Tribune. “Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model.”

Barger said the store employs approximately 100 associates, mostly part time.

“Those associates that are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores,” Riefs said. The nearest Kmart to Rome is in Calhoun.

Kmart opened on the site of the former East Rome High School in 1993. The store was previously located at 103 Hicks Drive, where the Home Depot now stands.

“I got to see it before it was leveled for the Home Depot,” said Barger, who came to Rome in 1996.

At one time, Kmart simultaneously operated a store at 2338 Shorter Ave., roughly where the Lowe’s Home Improvement store is currently located. Both of the Rome Kmart stores underwent major renovations in the late 1980s.

The West Rome store was closed around the same time the new store opened in East Rome.

Kmart is an outgrowth of the old S.S. Kresge Corp.