Fort Pierce Kmart among 150 nationwide store closures

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-06 11:21:51-05

Retail workers are paying the price for online shopping.

First, Macy's announced massive store closings, including the city place location. Now, Kmart and Sears follow suit.

The Fort Pierce Kmart is one of the 109 Kmart stores across the country set to close by the end of March.

“It’s definitely going to hurt the communities, but hopefully something else will come and people get hired,” said Kmart shopper Judy Keech.

Wednesday Sears Holdings, the company that now owns Kmart, announced it will be closing more than 150 Kmart and Sears locations across the county.

The company said in part in a statement online, "the decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take action to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformations.”

And the Fort Pierce Kmart didn’t make the cut.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to an employee at that location who tells us it was a shock, but not totally unexpected.

“That's the one thing we’re always worried about is if a store is going to be our store that’s going to go down next.”

We decided to protect this employee's identity, since the employees told us they were not allowed to speak to the media. However, the employee tells us the job search has already proven to be difficult.

“It's brutal,” said the employee. “Theres no one really looking to hire for full time.”

The news comes at the same time that Macy's also announced it will be closing about 70 stores nationwide.

“They’re repositioning themselves to be profitable,” said Edward Howell, a professor of economics at Keiser University. He says these closures are no surprise, rather the price we pay for choosing to shop online..

“We’re in a period of time where online business is replacing the brick and mortar business the same way the automobile replaced the horse and buggy business.”