The Kmart store in Plaza Las Américas, the only one left in Puerto Rico of this chain since 2021, will close its doors this October, confirmed to The new day Fonalledas Companies.
In written statements, the company said that, after several months of talks and negotiations between Sears and Plaza Las Américas, it was agreed that the chain of stores will hand over the Kmart and Sears Automotive spaces at the end of this month, while they will continue to strengthen and expand merchandise offerings at Sears and Sears Brand Central.
“Now we will have the opportunity to market the spaces to attract tenants that complement our offer, while we once again have a robust Sears in merchandise,” Rafael Ruiz-Comas said today.Director of Corporate Leasing at Empresas Fonalledas.
This medium knew that Several people on social networks, who identified themselves as employees of the department store, pointed out with sadness and nostalgia that today was their last day of work at the Hato Rey store.
Empresas Fonalledas, for its part, did not specify if today was the last day of service for the store.
In June, The new day reported that TransformCo, a company that acquired the assets of Sears and Kmart in 2019 and is owned by the hedge fund ESL Investments, decided, at that time, to keep its stores open in Plaza Las Américas. By that date, the company was also still paying the lease on the space occupied by the Sears automaker, while progressively adding Sears and Sears Brand Central merchandise to the interior of the mall.
Kmart came to have more than 2,000 establishments and became one of the American’s favorite chains for its variety of products. However, competitors like Walmart, Target and Amazon gained ground and the company began to face financial problems.
In 2002, the chain filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming at that time the largest retailer in the United States that resorted to federal protection. It also announced that it would close 250 stores.
Later, investor Edward Lampert became the company’s largest shareholder, then Sears, promising to restore both chains to the greatness they once were.
Under Lampert’s leadership, Sears returned to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. Today it operates just a handful of department stores in the United States.
With information from journalist Marian Díaz.