Sterling Kmart closing in January

Liquidation sale to start this month

STERLING – Sterling's Kmart is going the way of many others across the country.

The store announced to its local employees Thursday that it would close its doors in mid-January. It plans to start its liquidation sale Oct. 27. 

"The store closures are part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce ongoing expenses," corporate spokesman Howard Riefs said in an email to Sauk Valley Media late Thursday afternoon. 

The store in Sterling has 58 employees. 

"They have the opportunity to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores," said Riefs, who works for Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart.

The store had no outward indications Thursday that its days were numbered, with the exception of a sign in the layaway department indicating that the store, effective Thursday, would no longer accept layaways. The stores shelves were fully stocked.

Unloading her cart, Charlin Nolan of Sterling said she was sad to hear the store was closing.

"Another empty building, just what Sterling needs," said Nolan, who owns a gardening business. "This is a store you can get in and out of. I know a lot of older people who like this store."

She bought fall mums at Kmart on Thursday. 

"Where else can I get fall mums?" she asked. 

Diana Malpas of Fulton, who was going into the store, said she wasn't surprised the store was closing because so many others had already.

"This is the only Kmart around. There isn't one in Clinton," she said. 

In recent days, Kmart has confirmed that other stores are closing, including those in Fort Atkinson, Wis.; Rancho Cordova, Calif.; and Fort Wayne Ind.