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Kmart at ViaPort Rotterdam set to close

Kmart at ViaPort Rotterdam set to close

The announcement comes as parent company Sears files for bankruptcy
Kmart at ViaPort Rotterdam set to close
The ViaPort sign in 2016
Photographer: Gazette file photo

ROTTERDAM -- ViaPort Rotterdam is set to lose its last big box store, as the Kmart there is on a national list of "unprofitable" Kmart and Sears store closures, according to a company statement.

The Kmart is one of five Kmarts slated to close in New York state and one of 142 Kmart and Sears stores to close nationwide by the end of the year, according to a company statement.

The closures were announced as Sears filed for bankruptcy protection Monday. Liquidation sales are expected to "begin shortly," the company said.

"Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets," said Sears Holdings Chairman Edward S. Lampert in a prepared statement. "While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the company's immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer."

The impending closure of the Rotterdam location leaves ViaPort, formerly called Rotterdam Square, without a big box retailer. The mall lost its Sears store in 2016 and its Macy's anchor in 2015.

The state moved a new call center into the former Macy's space last year. ViaPort has also worked to make the mall a destination through its aquarium and entertainment space.

Sears Holdings also announced that Lampert stepped down as CEO of the firm as of Monday, though he remains chairman of the board. 

The company has, instead, created an "office of the CEO," which will be composed  of Sears Chief Financial Officer Robert A. Riecker; Chief Digital Officer, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail Leena Munjal; and President of Apparel and Footwear Gregory Ladley, according to the company's statement.

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