PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More Kmart stores are closing in the Pittsburgh area.
The company announced Tuesday that it’s closing another 49 stores in addition to the closures already announced earlier this year.
The sign on the front door made clear, the Belle Vernon-Rostraver Kmart’s 40-year run is over.
“Every time they said a Kmart is closing, I kept saying, ‘Thank God it’s not ours.’ Then, this comes out,” said Lisa Blatnik, a frequent shopper at the Westmoreland County location.
The company announced the store, along with 48 others nationwide, was closing. The Kmart locations in Butler and Indiana, Pennsylvania, are also closing for good.
Kmart, part of Sears Holdings, once consumer retail giants, are both now struggling to survive.
“It’s sad. There’s not gonna be a Kmart. There’s not gonna be a Christmas here,” Mary Babich, another shopper from Mon City.
In nearly every store at one time, the Belle Vernon Kmart is unique in that it’s the only one left with a Kmart cafeteria.
“I enjoyed coming here, shopping here. I had breakfast here before,” shopper Mary Myers said.
A store closing is nothing new for many shoppers, but for the local community, this particular closure is about the people.
“I got a lot of friends who work here,” said Blatnik.
“This is gonna hurt a lot of people,” Babich said. “It’s gonna hurt everybody in the Mon Valley. Not just one or two, it’s gonna hurt everybody.”
The store once famous for its Blue Light Specials will be handing out 80 pink slips, some to employees who’ve been with the store from the start.
The company plans liquidation sales to start immediately. The store will close for good in September.
“It was like a big family. I like Kmarts, there’s nothing like Kmarts,” said Blatnik.
In January, it was announced that the Kmarts on Mall Boulevard in Monroeville and on Cross Roads Plaza in Mount Pleasant. Several area Sears stores were announced as closing as well.
The company called the decision to close stores “a difficult but necessary one.”