MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s last Kmart, also the last one in the Midwest, is going out of business.
The store on Michigan Avenue near I-69 in Marshall will close sometime in November, a store associate confirmed to News 8 Monday, though an exact date was not immediately available. The store chain has Michigan roots and was founded in Garden City.
“Kmart has been a hallmark in this state. Now, it’s gone,” said Christ McDonald, who was surprised to hear of the closure. “It’s sad. Because just with everything going on during the pandemic, now we got more people employed.”
Once the Marshall store closes, the nearest Kmart will be in New York state, Kmart’s website shows.
For Angela Belt, it will force her and other area shoppers to travel for groceries and other necessities.
“Without going to another city, there’s not another option,” Belt explained.
The store’s upcoming closure is not only having shoppers talking, but also community leaders, including Marshall City Manager Tom Tarkiewicz.
“For a lot of firsts, we hate to be something for the lasts,” Tarkiewicz said.
Tarkiewicz says he knew the store’s impending closure was “inevitable” after noticing its stock decreasing over the years. But he, too, was disappointed to hear the news, given how there are no remaining national chain stores in the area.
“It was still somewhere we could drive a mile from city hall as we stand and pick up any item that we needed to,” Tarkiewicz said. “It’s going to be missed by the community.”
Until its closure, the store is hiring temporary positions with hourly pay beginning at $13.
According to Tarkiewicz , there is no word on what the future holds for the building and its property.
News 8 reached out to Transformco, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, for further details. They have yet to return our request for comment.
— News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.