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News Story
Updated: 03/18/2017 08:30:01AM

Radio Shack, Sears, Kmart to stay open

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By GARY PINNELL

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SEBRING — Sears, Kmart and J.C. Penney have announced nationwide store closings this year, but Gene Pollard says Radio Shack in Lake Placid won’t be on that list.

“We’ve owned this store since 1983,” Pollard said. “Regardless of what happens with Radio Shack or the parent company, we’re going to stay open. We get stock from other vendors as well.”

Highlands Electronics, which carries Radio Shack brands, is at 60 Tower St. in Lake Placid.

“A few years ago, there were four of us: the mall, which was a company store; Avon Park, which closed several months ago; Sebring and us,” Pollard said. The Sebring corporate store, 3230 U.S. 27 S., will remain open, Pollard said he was told.

An employee confirmed the Sebring store is receiving stock from the 187 stores the Fort Worth corporation said it will shutter this month. Some have already shut down.

The company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last week. About 1,800 stores will remain open.

“There are just 400 of us like my store left in the U.S.,” Pollard said.

The latest round of Sears and Kmart store closures will not affect locations in Lakeshore Mall.

Sears Holdings said on Dec. 27 the company had informed associates at 30 Kmart and 16 Sears stores that stores would be closing this spring. In January, the company informed associates of closures at another 78 Kmart and 26 Sears stores.

The Sebring Sears and Kmart stores were not on either closure list, but the next-closest Sears at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales is on the Dec. 27 closure list. It was the only Sears store in Florida to cease operations. Sarasota and Port Charlotte are among the nine Florida Kmart stores that are slated for closure.

On Feb. 24, J.C. Penney Co. announced it is planning to “optimize” its national retail operations and make the Plano, Texas company more profitable. Two distribution facilities and 130 to 140 stores will be closed over the next few months.

The department store will close 138 stores, two in Florida, but the Lakeshore Mall store has been spared from the chopping block. The two Florida stores closing are in Jacksonville and Palatka. Most of the affected stores will begin liquidating April 17, the company said in a news release.


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