Kmart spared

Many Oak Harbor residents were relieved to find their local Kmart was not included in the list of closures announced Friday by the struggling discount retail chain.

For Oak Harbor Kmart’s assistant manager Debbie Meyers, however, the good news came as no surprise.

“We just knew we weren’t going to be on there,” Meyers said on Tuesday, referring to a list pulling the plug on 283 Kmart stores nationwide, including six in Washington — Bellevue, Edmonds, Port Orchard, Renton, Sunnyside and Veradale.

Even the Kmart in Puerto Rico got the axe.

In Oak Harbor, “business is still the same,” Meyers said. “Everybody’s down right now, but other than that, we’re doing fine. We’re here to stay.”

Meyers added that customer reaction “has been that they’re happy we’re staying.”

Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 22, after a poor holiday-sales showing.

These recent closures amount to a loss of about 22,000 jobs, or 9 percent of Kmart’s workforce. Kmart corporate headquarters predicts these savings will generate $550 million next year, and $45 million annually.

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