Local Kmart distribution center’s fate unknown

Last county store set to close in April

WARREN — Though Sears Holdings Corp. announced Thursday the last Kmart in Trumbull County will close in April, the future of the Kmart Distribution Center in Warren remains unknown

“It just happened in the last 48 hours, (so we are) still sorting through the pieces and working with the UAW leadership to figure out if there are (layoffs) and how many,” said Glenn Johnson, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, which represents the distribution center workers.

The Super Kmart, 2100 Niles Cortland Road SE, in the Eastwood Mall complex, fell victim to a round of closings by the Sears Holdings Corp. that will affect 64 Kmarts and 39 Sears around the country.

“It is too soon in the process to tell. Just because there is a vast amount of stores closing, I don’t know what direct impact it will have on distribution center workers,” Johnson said.“We will do what we can in the very best interest of the workers.”

Johnson added the distribution center will continue operating as normal.

“Until we get notification. We have no notification now that anything has changed,” he said.

Sears Holdings Corp’s shares fell 60 percent in the last year, with an additional 4 percent fall Thursday. Last March the corporation said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that it had “substantial doubt” that it could survive.

The move comes after Sears Holding Corp. also announced 250 store closures last year, all part of the corporation’s attempts to stop the bleeding and return to profitability.

“We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members,” the company’s statement said.

While Sears Holdings has remained tight-lipped about how many jobs will be cut, spokesman Larry Costello said the majority would be part-time.