ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — The Mayor of St. Albans said he was shocked to learn this week his hometown Kmart will be one of the 64 nationwide which will close.
The St. Albans store, along with the stores in Huntington and Clarksburg, will be shutting down in April.
“We knew Sears Holdings and Kmart have been in trouble financially for a while now,” St. Albans Mayor Scott James said.
“We just did not think St. Albans would be closed at this point. I believe it outproduces some of the stores they kept open.”
The mayor didn’t stay shocked for long. He said he was immediately engaged in finding a replacement tenant for the retail outlet along MacCorkle Avenue in the very popular shopping plaza.
“We’ve been very proactive by talking to or trying to get to somebody to talk to with other corporations,” he explained. “We want to see if there’s interest in coming in to replace them.”
So far, James says they’ve had no luck, but he believes it will be a gold mine for the right business.
“It’s 94,500 square feet,” he said. “It was a great location for Kmart and whatever business goes in and replaces them, it will be a very productive store for them also.”
The company told employees they would be terminated with the closure which is expected to come in April. Liquidation sales at the stores begin next week. After the closure of these three, there will be only five Kmarts left in West Virginia. The strip mall where Kmart is located is owned by R&D Management.
James said he has also reached out to them for assistance in recruiting a new store to the location.