Kmart and Sears are getting ready to close another batch of stores throughout the United States in February. Transformco, the company who own both chains has announced it will close 96 Sears and Kmart stores, leaving the chain with 182 locations.
The Kmart based in Bishop has been confirmed by USA Today as a location which will shut its doors in just a few months time.
News of the store closure has many residents in the Eastern Sierra concerned as to where they will purchase items such as office supplies, clothes, and appliances.
Additionally, the closure has led to many people asking City of Bishop officials what is next for the location where Kmart sits.
Associate Planner and Economic Development Coordinator, Elaine Kabala was able to answer some of those questions during the Tuesday City Council meeting.
“The closing of Kmart is a significant issue to the community as it well should be.” Kabala said.
The Economic Development Coordinator told the council she and Interim City Administrator, Robin Picken are getting ready to meet with the property owners where the department store sits. “I spoke to Kmart headquarters as well as the property owners of the building and surrounding properties to talk about what their plans are for bringing in a future retail tenant. The property owners are still working on an internal strategy, but we will be setting up a meeting with the property managers next week.”
Elaine Kabala believes that property owners seemed to be receptive to the idea of bringing in another retailer. “I talked with them [the property owners] last week and initial conversations were very positive. They were interested in the Bishop Market and want to find a good fit for replacing Kmart.”
The City of Bishop employee also expressed the importance of finding a replacement quickly. Kabala expressed, “We are trying to get ahead of this issue and stay on top of it.”
As for now, all annual holiday endeavors are taking place at the Bishop Kmart this year. These events include KIBS Radio’s Coats for Kids Drive, Eastern Sierra Shop with a Cop, and Eastern Sierra Transit Authority’s Stuff-A-Bus event.