MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) -
(05/06/14) - It's something no community wants to see, but signs are up advertising Kmart is closing two Mid-Michigan stores - one in Grand Blanc and one in Lapeer.
We're still waiting to hear back from the retailer about why and confirmation on how many employees are impacted.
"It's just a well kept store and all those little things you want are here. Yeah, I just hate to see it go," said Pat Nantau, Grand Blanc resident.
Nantau didn't even know this Kmart was closing until she was in the area this weekend.
The parking lot was busy Tuesday morning. Grand Blanc resident Linda Swaim says the store was full, too.
"It's packed. Too bad all these people weren't here before. Maybe it wouldn't have closed," she said.
Grand Blanc City Manager Paul Brake says Kmart says nearly 50 people work there, mostly part time. His concern is for them and he says Michigan Works will be involved to hopefully help get employees placed if there's no room for them elsewhere in the company.
Brake says he's be in touch with the property owner and is optimistic there are options for the land, potentially even redevelopment.
Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson says the store in his city dodged closure about three years ago, but wasn't able to this time. He believes there are about 50 jobs affected in Lapeer, too, and that Michigan Works will also be involved.
Kmart has told him sales are down.
Kerbyson says the space could be home to a new business, and that the building is under new ownership.