By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – While most of the stores damaged by the May storms and floods have reopened, Kmart isn’t one of them – at least not yet.
The discount retailer, which has a store in the Fulton Commons Shopping Center, said it is trying to resolve several issues before setting a firm date.
“We do plan to reopen,” said Kimberly Freely. “We’re working with the landlord and getting fixtures but there’s no date.”
The Corinth building has been cleared of damaged merchandise, and most of the remaining store contents have been removed. Freely said that new shelves, racks and displays will be ordered for the store, which opened in 1992.
But the negotiations with the landlord may play a key role in why the store hasn’t reopened.
DLC Management of Tarrytown, N.Y., owns Fulton Crossing along with about 100 other shopping centers in 26 states.
DLC bought Fulton Crossing from another commercial real estate development company, Eden amp& Avant, three years ago for an undisclosed amount.
Kmart is one of the anchors for the nearly 180,000 square-foot Fulton Crossing Shopping Center. The other major anchor, Kroger, reopened June 18. Both stores, along with some of the smaller shops sharing space in the center, were flooded with more than 18 inches of water after the May 2 storm.
Freely said talks with the landlord revolve around who is responsible for what. In June, Freely said Kmart was “working with the landlord to rebuild.”
She didn’t discuss additional details in an interview this week with the Daily Journal.
“There are certain things they’re responsible for and certain things we’re responsible for,” she said. “Along with talks with our insurer, it’s been a process.”
DLC could not be reached for comment.
Another shopping center, Southgate, reopened most of its stores within a month of their temporary closings after the storm.
JC Penney says it plans to open in early October with a new look, according to a spokeswoman.
Kmart employees, meanwhile, will have to wait until they get a call to return to the Corinth store.
Freely said several of them were offered transfers to other stores. Others are “on call” waiting to be notified about the reopening, she said.
“We hope that it will be soon,” she said.