As many as 36 workers may lose their jobs at the Super Kmart at 7055 E. Broadway, which is closing its grocery section as it is being converted to a Big K store.
A store manager said this week that the store won't close during the conversion work, which a corporate spokeswoman said started in late September with the liquidation of the store's grocery inventory.
"This is done to ensure that the store has the best opportunity to succeed," said Kim Freely, spokeswoman at Kmart's corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Kmart purchased Sears in 2005, and Kmart stores are now part of the Sears Holdings Corp., Freely said.
The conversions are being done at several Super Ks nationwide because their grocery sections haven't been successful, Freely said.
"We still have Super Kmart stores," Freely said. "It's just that this store in not going to be one.
"There's 180 employees that currently work there. The conversion is taking place but isn't going to be completed until mid-November.
"We won't know the number of impacted employees until that time."
Freely said it is hoped many of the grocery workers will be placed in other sections of the store.
She said the Big K store will have limited pantry items. The store will be reconfigured to use the former grocery section's space.
The conversion also means the store will cease its 24-hour operation after the change, Freely said.