29 de abril de 2016

NOGALES Cierran en julio el emblemático K Mart




NOGALES  Cierran en julio el emblemático K Mart
The parent company of Kmart announced last week that its Mariposa Road location will close in late July.  The store is one of the largest retailers in Nogales, occupying a roughly 100,000-square-foot building since 1992. Its closure represents a blow to the local employment picture, as well as to city and county finances, both of which depend on sales tax as a significant source of revenue.  “Obviously we’re going to take a hit,” said County Manager Jennifer St. John. The only larger local retailers she could think of were Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Safeway, where she pointed out that many food items aren’t even taxed.  More than sales tax impacts, St. John expressed concern about the impact of job losses, adding: “Just as alarming as the sales tax is the families that will go without a job.”  Most of the City of Nogales’ revenues come from sales tax and the county has a one-cent sales tax that is divided evenly between the general fund and jail district.   “Any loss of a retailer, it could create risks for the stability of our sales tax,” said city Finance Director Sherry Schurhammer. The location is one of 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores slated to close nationwide in coming months, and the only one in Arizona, according to an April 21 announcement from Sears Holdings. The closures are part of an effort to “accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores,” according to a release provided by a company spokesman.  "The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability," Edward S. Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, said in the release. The chain has seen sales and store locations plummet over the last several decades.

Company spokesman Howard Riefs declined to provide a total number of employees at the Nogales location, but did say that “an overwhelming majority of these jobs are part-time positions,” and that “eligible associates will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.”
‘We come here first’
The Kmart is also a big draw for many Mexican shoppers, who spend the majority of retail dollars in Nogales, Ariz.
Margarita Castro and her husband Manuel Bosse had come all the way up from Hermosillo, Sonora to shop at Kmart Friday afternoon with their two children, and said the store was their favorite in Nogales.
“We always come here first,” Bosse said.
Asked what the family will do on its regular U.S. shopping trips after the store closes, Castro said they’d probably just head north to Tucson, though their children didn’t seem terribly keen on an even longer drive.
Gerardo Borbon, a shopper from Nogales, Sonora who picked up two pairs of jeans Friday, said Kmart is also one of his favorite stores on the Arizona side of the border, but added he’d just find a replacement store in Nogales rather than look further north.
Two Santa Cruz County residents said the store had been a reliable source of pharmacy services.
Bad news, good news
With Big 5 Sporting Goods set to open in mid-May and construction on a Forever 21 clothing store almost ready to begin along Mariposa Road, some of the looming sales tax hit could be softened.
“They could certainly make up for Kmart,” Schurhammer said. “But it’s hard to say at this point, until they open.”
In addition, while not naming any companies, city economic development specialist Aaron White said several more national chains are considering opening Nogales locations. Whether they will be of the same scale as Kmart is another matter, he added, pointing out that “there aren’t too many 100,000-square-foot stores.”
For further questions on the Kmart closure, White directed the NI to Mayor John Doyle, who did not return a call for comment Friday.


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