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It’s official: Kmart is closingmore stores in mid-January

James Adamson, chairman and CEO of Troy, Mich.-based retailer Kmart, announced yesterday the company will go through another round of store closings next month. Analysts have guessed the death toll could include 300 stores, but Adamson was mum on the exact number. According to Prudential Securities analyst James Sullivan, Kmart has already approached landlords for rent reductions and shorter lease terms as it evaluates all of its 1,832 remaining stores.

Landlords most vulnerable to the upcoming wave of closures include CBL & Associates, Developers Diversified Realty, Glimcher Realty Trust, New Plan Excel, Regency Centers and Pan Pacific Retail Properties, according to Sullivan.

In a press conference yesterday, Adamson said October same-store sales declined 5 percent, an improvement over a 6.9 percent decline in October 2001. The company will release November and December sales data when it files its 3Q report next week. Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 8, 2002 and subsequently shut down 284 stores in 40 states. In late October, the company said it hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by July 2003.

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