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Kohl's to close LI store, affecting 81 workers

The store, one of four nationwide to be shuttered, will close "for a variety of reasons, including real estate and other operational costs," the company said in a filing.

Kohl's closing of its Valley Stream store will

Kohl's closing of its Valley Stream store will affect 81 workers, the company said in a state filing. Photo Credit: AP/Chuck Burton

Employees at a Kohl’s on Long Island will be among nearly 200 workers affected by the retailer's New York store closings in April, according to a state notice posted Thursday.

The department store chain announced recently that it will close four “lower performing stores” — in Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream; Rego Park, Queens; Lenexa, Kansas; and Houma, Louisiana.

“For a variety of reasons, including real estate and other operational costs, the company has decided to close these locations,” the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The New York metro area closings will affect 81 employees at the Valley Stream store and 107 at the Queens store, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act  notice posted on the state Labor Department's website. The retailer said the stores will close April 13.

Under the WARN Act, certain employers must notify workers and the state in advance of mass layoffs or work site closings.

“All impacted associates have been offered the opportunity to take employment at other Kohl’s stores or to accept a severance package,” Kohl’s spokeswoman Natalie Verette said Thursday.

Of Kohl's 12 stores on Long Island, the one in Oceanside is the closest to the Valley Stream location — 7.1 miles miles away.

The Valley Stream store opened in 2010 and is about 107,000 square feet in size, Verette said.

In announcing the closings, Kohl’s said it would offer a voluntary retirement program to hourly workers at least 55 years old who have 15 years of employment with the company. 

The retailer also said it planned to open four smaller-format stores this year, which would keep Kohl’s total store count at 1,158.

As brick-and-mortar retailers continue to face intensifying online competition, Kohl’s is among a growing number of chains, including Target and Walmart, that are opening more small-format stores as opposed to the big-box locations that have been popular in recent decades.

“Smaller stores cost less money, use fewer workers, can fit in the fast-growing urban areas where real estate is pricey, and allow for easier pick-up and delivery services,” according to the The NPD Group, a Port Washington-based market research firm.

Kohl’s has opened 12 stores in the past two years that are 35,000 square feet — 60 percent smaller than Kohl’s average store, the company said.

Target opened a small-format store in Selden in November and plans to open four more in New York City this year.

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