Oregon will lose its last Kmart when The Dalles’ store closes at the end of February 2020.

Transform Holdco, the company formed in January to buy the remaining assets of bankrupt retailer Sears Holdings Corporation, named the local department store Nov. 7 in a list of 96 Sears and Kmart stores to close by the end of February.

The local Kmart store has 51 employees, said General Manager Bob Hart. “We are the last Kmart/Sears in Oregon,” he added. He said local staff don’t know details yet, but added that the impact on local staff will be hard. “We have 30-year employees that started before the store even opened, 29 years ago,” he explained. “That’s the only job they’ve known in their adult life.” Hart himself has 38 years as a Kmart employee, and started with the company immediately after graduating from college.

He said the store in The Dalles is profitable. “It’s still making money,” he said.

Geri Murray, a resident of Hood River, said she has been shopping at Kmart in The Dalles since 1978. “I’ll miss the store. I like their clothes and that they have a bigger selection than Walmart.” She said she will likely do more of her shopping in Portland once the store closes. “I come here at least twice a month, or more. Pretty much every time I’m in The Dalles,” Murray said.

According to Wikipedia, Transform Holdco LLC (referred to as “New Sears”) is an American privately held company formed on Feb. 11, 2019, to acquire the assets of Sears Holdings Corporation. Transform Holdco LLC purchased substantially all of the assets owned by Sears Holdings for $5.2 billion.

To date, the company has announced plans to close 127 Kmarts and 87 Sears stores by February 2020.

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