NORTH CANTON There won’t be any more blue light specials anymore as the final two local Kmart stores in Northeast Ohio are expected to close by February.


In a news release by Transform Holdco LLC, the company that operates Sears and Kmart, it announced 96 more store closures by February.


“Since purchasing substantially all the assets of Sears Holdings Corporation in February 2019, Transformco has faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges,” the release said. “We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors.”


Locally on the list is the Kmart in North Canton on North Main Street and the Kmart in Tallmadge on South Avenue. Also on the closing list is the Kmart in Marietta.


Going out of business sales are expected to begin Dec. 2.


A post on the North Canton Facebook page read:


“This will be the last post for the North Canton Kmart Facebook page. Been a sad day but they have decided to close North Canton Kmart. The North Canton Kmart staff would like to thank you for shopping with us all these years. We will continue to help our customers until our final day. Thank you for shopping North Canton Kmart and supporting our store for all these years.”


Following these closures, Transformco will operate 182 stores across the United States.


The North Canton Kmart is owned by Seritage Growth Properties, which also owns the Belden Village Mall Sears property.


The news of the additional closures comes just weeks following the announcement of the closure of the Sears at Belden Village Mall, which is expected to officially close Jan. 12.


Transformco said it is focused on keeping open the better performing retail stores and recently acquired Sears Hometown, 400 independently-owned and operated stores. It encourages customers to shop at Sears.com and Kmart.com.


The nearest remaining Sears is at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted and following these closures no Kmart stores will remain in Ohio. The Barberton Kmart is undergoing liquidation sales as the store is expected to close in mid-December.