V.I. Kmarts Slated for Survival

Shoppers at kmart, Tutu Park

The first month of 2019 has been brutal in bankruptcy court for Sears Holdings Co. But among the 838 legal motions, notices, requests for and submissions of financial status, there are just three notices of store closures.

None of them have anything to do with Sears Holdings stores in the U.S. Virgin Islands despite rumors circulating locally that those stores — known to all as Kmart — are ready to close.

According to one reliable source, the most recent rumblings point towards one of the two Kmart stores on St. Thomas closing. But two other sources, also reliable, say it isn’t so.

Myrna Green, property manager for Lockhart Gardens Shopping Center says her Kmart tenant is staying put. Green said landlord Lockhart Corp. is aware of the Sears Holdings bankruptcy case, but is hoping for the best.

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Store manager Kevin Bryan agrees. Although the details are not completely available, Bryan said store managers in the V.I. keep track of developments in federal bankruptcy court, Southern District of New York.

Those proceedings are made to satisfy the demands of dozens of plaintiffs who have filed claims against the former U.S. retail giant.

A few weeks after Sears Holdings and Kmart Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, board chairman Eddie Lampert made a bid for ownership of the most profitable Kmarts. The first bid, in late December, failed but a second bid for $52 billion was accepted on Jan. 17.

That, according to an article in Bloomberg Business Week, helped to save the more profitable stores, and jobs for 50,000 workers.

Kmart Tutu Park has been described as the second most profitable. The profit leader in the chain can be found in the U.S. territory of Guam.

Not as fortunate this month were Kmart stores that had a notice of sale entered by lawyers representing Sears. They include stores in Tolleson, Arizona and Lithonia, Georgia.

Statements of financial affairs were also filed with the court for non-individual stores in Washington, Illinois, Texas and Michigan.

Bryan hinted that corporate executives are working on a new plan to enhance the prospects for future success. “We are one of the go forward stores when the plan goes forward,” he said.

So are Kmarts at Sunny Isle and Golden Rock on St. Croix, the St. Thomas store manager said.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Going forward is great but the so call renovations that K-mart claimed they performed after the storm was misleading. Instead of making the stores more attractive for there customers they cut cost and made it look like some third world flee market. I have not stepped into K-mart since the storm because I feel insulted. They said they spent millions but I’d sure like to see the receipts on that claim. You can fool some people some of the time but not all people all the time. They better wake up or online shopping sales will increase and their sales will go way down. People rather wait in line at the post office than a rundown Kmart store.

  2. PS:I Take it back. Over three million dollars leave this island every year through money order transfers. Kmart probably make more easy money from money orders than buying products and waiting for a sale.! Kmart, you better start doing right by the people of these island because we are sick and tired of EDC companies coming here promising one thing and delivering another. Governor Bryan, you better put together a bull dog task force and make sure these Edc companies are doing right by us.!Remember folks, these EDC companies pay NO corporate, gross receipt, personal, etc taxes. It is time for accountability!!!

    • Is Kmart an EDC beneficiary? If so, how is that possible given the time limit for such designation? Kmart has been here for decades. I agree the EDC program needs to be investigated thoroughly. By an outside entity. Surely EDC companies MUST keep pristine records for compliance requirements, unlike the local government and its agencies.

  3. Are you kidding? They take and take and take from the little people to run this government. The veil of corruption and sickness is being lifted and the people are seeing the light. These islands and it’s people have had a long history of suppression and it is time to rise and say NO MORE! But like the slaves masters the government make us pay high amounts of money for electricity, taxes, and fees , etc. so that we are so beaten down by poverty and stress we can’t stand and fight. Recycling our slave masters in government does not change the fact that we are enslaved by our own people.

  4. Kmart is junk , crap electronics, crap furniture, terrible associates, I love walking through the second market cd sales at the entrance, then I had to wait for the associate to unlock the nail clippers then had to follow to the register to pay , the place feels dirty , they treat you like you are bothering them , Amazon prime way better , no shipping fees, better quality and if you do have an issue they have competent people to help . Bye Kmart

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