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Attention, K-Mart shoppers: Another store to close

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The liquidation sale has begun at the Kmart store in Oakdale.

The Pioneer Press reported that the store, which opened at 10th Street North just west of Interstate 694 in 1979, will close its doors for good in mid-September.

There are 77 employees at the Oakdale Kmart; eligible employees "will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores," Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman Howard Riefs told the newspaper. Sears Holdings, which is Kmart's parent company, previously stated that unprofitable stores would be reviewed for possible closure as their leases expired.

According to the Kmart's locator website, there are 16 remaining Kmarts doing business in Minnesota, with six of them located in the Twin Cities metro area.

Kmart stores in Minnesota have closed in waves. At the end of 2011, the company announced that it would close four of its 28 Minnesota locations. The Kmart Distribution Center in Shakopee closed in 2013. Earlier this year, Prairie Business noted the closing of the Kmart stores in Fergus Falls and Alexandria. The Marshall Independent also noted the going-out-of-business sale as the Marshall store shut its doors.

Last week, the Star Tribune reported that Minneapolis city officials, representatives of Kmart and its landlord began talks talks to reopen the road jog at Kmart's store property at Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street. Nicollet has been obstructed there since the store was built in 1976. The newspaper said the positioning of the Lake Street Kmart "has long been considered one of the worst urban planning blunders in modern Minneapolis history."

In a letter to the city, Kmart Vice President James Terrell said his parent company, Sears Holdings Corp., is “committed to working with the city to find a viable option for reopening Nicollet Avenue,” but that is dependent upon Kmart being able to run its existing store while a new Kmart is built on a redesigned site. The company wants to remain at the intersection, which is one of its most popular stores.

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34-year Kmart shopper protests store closing

Marge Hames, 74, says she's been coming back to the same local Kmart for 34 years and says the employees there are like family. That store is one of 15 that Sears Holding plans to close in February. "So I'm here. I'll be here tomorrow, and the day after, until it closes."