MENOMINEE — The last Kmart in the Upper Peninsula is set to close by the end of the year.

Sears Holding Corp. announced Saturday the closure of the Menominee store. In its official statement, the corporation said, “After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Kmart store in Menominee, Mich. The liquidation sale is expected to begin in mid-September and the store is planned to close by mid-December. We encourage customers to continue shopping on for all their product needs.”

“It’ll be a sad day for Menominee when the store closes,” said Mayor Jean Stegeman,” The store’s been there for decades at least, and many citizens have fond memories of the store.”

Stegeman said Kmart is a special breed of store, not unlike Shopko, that will be missed in the community. She said many times she would walk there from her home for her shopping. While Sears and Kmart have been struggling on a larger scale in recent years, Stegeman said that to her knowledge, the Menominee store was one of the franchise’s more profitable locations.

She said the store’s closure will leave many hard-working Menominee citizens out of a job for a while, and would also cut out one of the more popular pharmacies in town. In addition to that, she said a large empty building as a part of Menominee’s downtown plaza doesn’t look good.

On a positive note, she said it won’t necessarily be like that forever. “When OfficeMax in Marinette closed, Goodwill found their location there. There can be new things that come in,” she said.