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Santa Maria Kmart Store to Close in March

For decades, Santa Maria shoppers have known they could get anything from socks to kitchen supplies at the Kmart store at 2875 Santa Maria Way.

By March of 2019, that will change.

CNN reports Sears Holdings announced the closure of another 80 stores across the country, a combination of Kmart and Sears locations. The Santa Barbara Sears closure was announced weeks ago and is currently in the final stages. Sears has made no announcement about the fate of the downtown Santa Maria Sears location. A Kmart in Goleta closed months ago, where the space will be rebuilt into a Target store for the South Coast.

The news left shoppers feeling “heartbroken.”

“It’s a disappointment,” said Kmart shopper Rich Gamble. “This has been kind of my go to place.”

In Santa Maria, shoppers have both Target and Wal-Mart as other in-town options.

“They have a big Walmart over there, so people go to Walmart,” said Kmart shopper Carol Wallace.

Another shopper told us he’d been a customer at the Santa Maria Kmart for decades, but not as frequently in recent years.

“Not as often as we used to, because they don’t have as good a selection as they used to. We’ve been here for 40 something years and we used to come shopping in Santa Maria, we live in Five Cities, and this is remote. There’s nothing else out here,” said shopper Bill Colton.

Longtime residents recall the store being open since at least the mid 1970’s. City leaders expressed disappointment at the closing, but vowed to work to find a new company for the soon-to-be-vacant space.

“Kmart has been a part of Santa Maria for decades, providing jobs, products, and services, and it is sad to see them go. But it has been looming for a long time given the struggling retailer’s difficulties and previous decisions over recent years to close multiple stores across the country,” said Santa Maria Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp.

Liquidation sales at the Santa Maria Kmart should begin within two or three weeks.

Sears is attempting to find a way to remain in business, and is currently assessing if that will be possible.

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