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Kmart to close

Shoppers enter the Kmart store on Mountain City Highway Thursday afternoon.

ELKO – Only two big-box discount general merchandise stores are located in Elko, and that is apparently one too many.

Kmart will be closing its store on Mountain City Highway, manager Paul Roach confirmed Thursday. He directed the newspaper to corporate media relations, which did not return a call by press time.

Elko was not among the stores named in a list of 78 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores that Sears Holdings Corp. announced in June it would be closing this year.

At least three other Nevada Kmarts have closed within the past year – one in Sparks, one in Las Vegas and one in Henderson.

Elko’s Kmart opened in November 1991. At the time, the 86,479-square-foot facility was one of 2,500 Kmarts nationwide. By May of this year that number had dwindled to 365 stores.

The Elko store was part of a shopping center developed by Harlan Noddle of Omaha, Nebraska. It would eventually include a Burger King. Noddle purchased the land adjacent to an Interstate 80 interchange from the City of Elko for $600,000.

Four years after it opened, Walmart built a larger store a block away. In 1999, Elko’s Kmart was expanded into a “Big Kmart” with a $500,000 renovation that included a grocery section.

Kmart has hosted local law enforcement’s annual Shop with a Cop event for more than two decades, enabling needy children to acquire gifts for family members and themselves.

The first Kmart opened in Garden City, a suburb of Detroit, in 1962. The chain was founded by S.S. Kresge Co., which dated back to 1899.

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