Two well-known retail stores in Leavenworth soon will cease operations.

Kmart and Sears will close their doors this spring.

Sears Holdings has announced that the Kmart and Sears stores in Leavenworth will close by the end of March. The stores are located at 4820 S. 4th St.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation,” said Edward S. Lampert in a press release.

Lampert is the chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, which is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

“Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around,” Lampert said in the press release. “But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success.”

Eligible associates impacted by the store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores, according to the press release.

All impacted stores will begin liquidations sales as early as Friday, according to the press release.

Representatives of Sears Holdings informed associates at the Kmart and Sears stores about the closure on Wednesday, according to the press release.

It is uncertain how many people are employed at the Kmart and Sears stores in Leavenworth. A telephone call to the national headquarters of Sears Holdings to inquire about the number of employees was not returned.

“We are taking strong, decisive actions today to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment,” said Lampert in a press release. “We are committed to improving short-term operating performance in order to achieve our long-term transformation.”

Sears Holdings is closing 108 Kmart and 42 Sears stores across the country, according to the press release.

What is to become of the building that houses Kmart and Sears remains uncertain as well.

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