Four Kmart stores in Minnesota are set to close as part of a move announced this week by the parent company of Sears and Kmart, which said it could no longer prop up "marginally performing" locations and would refocus its efforts on stores that make money.
The four stores are in Willmar, Duluth, New Hope and White Bear Lake. No Minnesota Sears stores are on the list.
Florida will be hit the hardest by the closings, losing 11 stores, according to a preliminary list of 79 planned closures released Thursday.
Ohio, Michigan and Georgia are not far behind with six store closures planned in their states. Along with Minnesota, Tennessee and North Carolina are set to lose four stores each.
The company says employment varies by stores and format, and it could not provide the total number of affected employees. But a spokeswoman for Sears Holding Corp. said each store employs between 40 and 80 people.
None of the closures announced so far are in Sears' home state of Illinois.
The projected closings represent only about 3 percent of Sears Holdings' U.S. stores. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005. The company now has about 3,560 stores in the U.S. That's up from 3,500 immediately after the merger.
Download the full list of closures from Sears Holding Company here.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)