July 3, 2008 · Updated 2:01 PM
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 Kmarts assistant manager Debbie Meyers, however, the good news came as no surprise.
We just knew we werent 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. Everybodys down right now, but other than that, were doing fine. Were here to stay.
Meyers added that customer reaction has been that theyre happy were 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 Kmarts workforce. Kmart corporate headquarters predicts these savings will generate $550 million next year, and $45 million annually.