Shoppers react to possibility of Mid-Missouri stores closing
Thu, 29 Dec 2011 01:31:27 GMT — The Sears stores in Jefferson City and Columbia, and the Kmart in Jefferson City are just three of thousands across the country in limbo tonight. Tuesday, parent company, Sears Holding Corporation, announced they'll close 120 under-performing stores, but did not release a list. Store closings are nothing new for the retail giants. In 2003 the Kmart in Columbia closed, leaving more than 100-full time and part-time workers out of a job. Fans of the local stores hope more closings aren't in their future. "I don't like it, I like sears, sears is a good store," Jefferson City shopper John Stafford said. I'd hate to see the Kmart close," Sears shopper Larry Hale said. Nationally sears has a 120-year history and many loyal shoppers said it is an American staple. They said it's a company that understands how to treat employees and customers. "Sears treats their employees right, they pay them well, they've got benefits," Stafford said. But the trouble is, industry experts said sears hasn't invested in remodeling, leaving the stores uninviting, compared to flashier competitors like Walmart and Target. Their competitors superstores make for one stop shopping destinations. Again, it's still unclear whether Mid-Missouri's stores will be affected, corporate policy won't allow store managers to comment, nor will they reveal how many people they employ in central Missouri. But, some associates we spoke with said they aren't worried and have been told before they are doing well. We also spoke with management at the Capital Mall, a manager there said sears is in a long-term lease and is an is an important part of the mall.