Kmart store at Inlet Square Mall in Murrells Inlet closing - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Kmart store at Inlet Square Mall in Murrells Inlet closing

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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) -

The kmart at the Inlet Square Mall in Murrells Inlet will close in late April.

In fact, the South Strand Store has already started selling items at discounted prices.

The store has 50 employees.

They are eligible for severance and have the chance to apply for open positions at other area Sears or Kmart stores.

Kmart was considered one of the anchor stores at Inlet Square Mall, a mall that has struggled some in the past decade.

And Kmart's closing concerns owners of other, smaller stores in that mall.

John Scott opened up Scotty's All American Grille at the Inlet Square Mall 3 years ago towards the end of mall renovations. He said the movie theater was scheduled to open and the mall had high hopes for business.

"Traffic was great when Frank's first opened up and the department store people would come to the mall and walk around but being there are no stores they just don't come out anymore," said Scott.

And that means Scott can't afford to hire additional help. Which wasn't the plan he had envisioned.

"I'm just upset because I really thought this place would do well. And I'm retired, I figured I would open this put a manager in once we opened the business and I would have a place to hang my hat 25 hours a week and now it has become more than a full time job because we can't make enough money to hire enough people," said Scott.

He said if the mall doesn't recruit new stores within the next 6 months, he'll leave.

And kmart closing is also bringing up questions for Cruz Patino, the co-owner of KM sports. They're location at the mall is a seasonal store but they aren't sure whether they'll renew.

"We don't know what's going on. We talk to each other and think maybe this is it if they close the mall is going to disappear you know? But we have JCpenney and Belk, big ones too, but nothing like kmart, it's the neighborhood people," said Patino.

We reached out to the mall management for a comment. They would not go on camera but issued us this statement in an email:

"We have not been formally notified by kmart that they are leaving so we have no comment to make. Inlet Square is actively seeking new stores and will notify the press as soon as we have any new store openings to announce."

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