Chesterton Tribune

Meijer buys Kmart property in Portage

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Less than a week after Sears Holdings Corporation announced the closure of the Kmart store at 6050 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage, Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich., retailer, has announced its purchase of the property.

The company, however, has not formally committed yet to developing that property as a Meijer store.

“I can confirm we bought the location and I can confirm we are interested in Portage as a location of a potential Meijer store,” Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi told the Chesterton Tribune today.

But whether Meijer does put a store on the site is still undetermined. “It’s still very early in the consideration process,” Guglielmi said. Generally speaking, he added, “it’s not unheard of for any retailer to purchase real estate and not build on it or take the time to build on it.”

If Meijer does develop the property as a store, would it build fresh or use the existing space? “It’s too early to answer that,” Guglielmi said.

Meijer is a family-owned company founded in 1934 in Greenville, Mich. It currently operates more than 190 stores—open around the clock—in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky as well as 177 gas stations.

Sears Holdings, meanwhile, expects to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores. As of late last week, it had announced the closure of three Kmarts in Indiana: the one in Portage, another in St. John in Lake County, and a third in Indianapolis. A Sears Full-Line store in Anderson is also on the chopping block.

A typical Kmart or Sears store employs between 40 and 80 people.

 

Posted 1/5/2012