Carbondale Kmart closes in August

By Gus Bode

Attention Kmart shoppers:The store will soon be closing.

At the end of August, the retail giant that began a more than $12 billion dollar takeover of Sears and Roebuck, Inc. in 2004, will not renew the property lease at its Carbondale location.

The precise closing date is undecided and depends on the going-out-of-business sale’s success, Kmart Manager of Media Relations Stephen Pagnani said.


Local Kmart employees were instructed not to talk to the media, but signs outside the store heralded the close of the photo lab, termination of layaway and returns or exchanges. Business hours have been shortened and the store no longer accepts personal checks.

Pagnani said the chain does not publicize the reasons for closing stores, and he could not confirm that Wal-Mart, which moved to the same side of Route 13 after Kmart did, was part of the problem.

“I can’t say that was part of it, but I can say that it is common for there to be competing retail stores in the same city,” Pagnani said.

In November 2004, the Kmart corporation announced the Kmart-Sears merger, and Sears Chairman Alan Lacy said he expected several hundred Kmarts to become Sears, which is struggling to move to off-mall locations.

Sears spokeswoman Corinne Gudovich, who is overseeing the Kmart-to-Sears conversion plans, said there are only two stores that have transitioned in Illinois and Carbondale is not expected to be another.

“Generally what happens, it’s like buying a house, is we leave it up to the owner,” Pagnani said.

The Carbondale Kmart’s New York-based property owners, DLC Management, did not respond to an inquiry from The Daily Egyptian about whether a new business would move into the vacant property


In a November online poll, 42 percent of CNN Money readers said they believed the merger would result in “more closed stores” for Kmart.