A Kmart in the Mid-City area abruptly closed Wednesday, leaving dozens of workers out of a job.
A Sears Holding Corp. representative told 10News the store located at 5405 University Avenue was "closed to the public, effective Wednesday, June 11" because "another retailer has signed a contract to take over our lease ..."
Employees of the Kmart tell 10News the space was bought out by Burlington Coat Factory. One employee says she saw this coming but stuck around, hoping things would get better.
"I am so hurt," said Nadine Franklin. "I am so hurt. They said, 'Well calm down, calm down.' I just found out a second ago, I'm still in shock!"
Franklin, after more than a dozen years of employment at the Kmart, showed up to work Wednesday, on her birthday, to find a typed sign on the door saying the location had been closed indefinitely, effective immediately.
"No notice, no nothing," said Franklin. "I turned 59. I found out on my birthday that I don't have a job after 15 years in this same spot."
In the statement to 10News, the representative added, "This specific Kmart store was unfortunately losing money and we made the difficult decision to close it. Store closures are part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce on-going expenses..."
"I always knew they were going to close," said Franklin. "Anytime a company doesn't treat their employees right, they're not going to make it. You're not going make it if your employees aren't happy."
According to the SHC representative, the University Ave. store has 73 associates -- most of which are part-time/hourly employees.
Franklin says Kmart was only giving her four hours of work a day. She says this closure will now force her and others to find something better.
The representative says those employees who are eligible will receive severance. If you had something on layaway, Kmart says they will issue you a refund.