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This story has been updated from a previous version to include additional information.

Originally published: 2014-06-16 11:06:26
Last modified: 2014-06-17 16:46:17

Boone Kmart to close

by Tom Mayer

Kmart in Boone will close this fall, according to Howard Riefs of Sears Holdings. Sears Holdings is the parent company of Kmart stores.

"The Kmart store at 1620 Blowing Rock Road in Boone will close to the public in mid-September. Until then, the store will remain open for customers," Riefs said in a statement.

Several North Carolina and Georgia development companies on June 11 purchased the six-acre property for $6,975,000, according to the Watauga County Register of Deeds office. The developers include Granite Falls Land & Investment LLC of North Carolina, Equity Resource Partners III LLC of Georgia, Watson Commercial Development Inc. of North Carolina and Robert Carroll Carver of North Carolina.

Piedmont Land Development Inc. of Davidson was also listed as being involved in the acquisition. A Piedmont representative did not return a phone call as of presstime seeking additional information about the sale and future projects.

The Boone Kmart opened in March 1979 and currently has 41 employees, the majority of who are hourly, part-time associates. Those employees who are eligible will receive severance pay and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores, according to Riefs.

The Boone Kmart is part of store closures in a "series of actions we're taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model," Riefs said. "These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail -- at the store, online and in the home."

The Boone store will begin its liquidation sale on June 29.

Anna Oakes contributed reporting to this article.