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Kmart to close last two stores in metro Detroit

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There were once 134 Kmart stores in Michigan—now there’s only one

A “Big Kmart” store with a car-filled parking lot. Shutterstock

Nearly 60 years ago, Kmart opened its first store in metro Detroit. But, the company announced Thursday, it’s shuttering its last two area stores in Warren and Waterford as part of a mass closure of 96 Sears and Kmart locations around the country.

Transformco, which acquired Sears Holding Company in February, wrote in a statement that the “difficult retail environment” forced it to make the “necessary decision to streamline our operations.”

The Warren store will close by the end of the year and Waterford by February 2020. The company says going out of business sales are expected to begin December 2.

The last remaining Michigan Kmart store is in Marshall. At its peak, the retail chain had 134 locations around the state.

The Detroit Free Press wrote about the store’s history in the area:

The Kmart chain got its start 57 years ago as the big-box brand of the Detroit-based S.S. Kresge Co. It was for decades one of southeast Michigan’s biggest employers and the nation’s second-largest retailer. The company’s former headquarters were in Troy, with close to 5,000 people employed there at its peak.