Gonzales locations of Sears, K-Mart spared on initial closing list

John Dupont

Sears and K-Mart stores in Gonzales – and Louisiana as a whole – survived the first round of closings, according to a preliminary list of 79 planned closures the Illinois-based retailer announced Thursday.

Sears Holdings Corp. will not shutter the K-Mart on Airline at Cornerview, or the Sears store in East Bank Shopping Center.

The K-Mart store in Gonzales was the only location not to close in the Greater Baton Rouge area after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, prior to its merger with Sears three years later.

The only remaining locations of K-Mart outside the area are in Metairie and Lafayette.

K-Mart has operated in Gonzales since the late 1980s. Sears has maintained a presence in the area for decades through its catalog store.

The location in East Bank Shopping Center had closed not long after the 125-year-old retailer eliminated its catalog division.

Sears reopened that location approximately 10 years as an appliance store.

The struggling retailer announced Tuesday it would close 120 stores over the next year as a plan to expand cash flow after sluggish sales this holiday season.

According to the release, Florida will feel the biggest brunt with 11 closures. Ohio, Michigan and Georgia will each lose six. Tennessee, North Carolina and Minnesota will each lose four.

Three Mississippi stores – in Columbus, Jackson and McComb – will also close, as well as three in Alabama – a Sears in Mobile, and K-Mart stores in Auburn and Gadsden.

The closings represent only 3 percent of Sears Holdings’ U.S. stores. The company owns 3,560 stores across the United States.