The Kmart at 201 N. Berkeley Blvd. will close at the end of March.

Employees at the store were informed of the closing Wednesday morning.

The number of employees at the store is not publicly available, said a spokesman for Sears Holdings that owns Kmart and Sears stores.

Eligible employees will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

Most of the employees are part time/hourly.

The Goldsboro store, which opened in October 1968, is one of five being closed in the state.

Also closing are stores in Concord, Fayetteville, Madison and Wilmington.

Employees at 78 Kmarts and 26 Sears stores across the country were told Wednesday that the stores would close by the end of March.

The Goldsboro Sears store was not on the closure list, a company spokesperson said.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as Jan. 6 at all closing stores, including the five being shut down in North Carolina

A sign on the Goldsboro store's front door Wednesday said that no new lay-a-ways would be accepted after Jan. 4.

A press release on the closing did not mention the fate of the Sears auto shop located at the Kmart store.

The company had not responded prior to press time this morning to questions about the fate of the auto shop.

According to the press release, Sears Holdings the closures continue the company's efforts to "to strategically and aggressively evaluate our store space and productivity, and accelerate the closing of some unprofitable stores as the company has previously announced."

It adds, "The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company's operations and fund its transformation. Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around. But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success."

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See also Kmart closing Goldsboro location