Kmart store near Lambeau Field closing; 80 workers affected

The Kmart store in Ashwaubenon, with Lambeau Field in the background, is seen May 30, 2014. (WLUK/Todd Berry)

ASHWAUBENON - The Kmart store just west of Lambeau Field will close in mid-July, the company said Friday.

"Store closures are part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model. As part of this plan, the company has made the decision to close this particular unit. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail - at the store, online and in the home," said Howard Riefs, communications director for Sears Holdings.

The store, which employs 80 people, will begin a liquidation sale Sunday.

The store is located on property owned by the Green Bay Packers - and is expected to be re-developed as part of the team's Titletown District. A FOX 11 story in 2007 reported the store had 11 years left on its lease with the team. A team spokesman says both parties agreed to end the lease.

The Packers have not announced plans for the site. In the short term, it may be used for parking.

Ashwaubenon village president Mike Aubinger expressed mixed emotions about the store's closing.

"It's sad because we don't like to see stores closing but it's exciting because that area is going to develop," Aubinger said. "That's probably one of the lynch-pins for development in that area. So there's some excitement but also some sadness that a store is going out of business."

The Packers own 16 parcels on the west side of the stadium valued at $23,990,600.

Kmart is also closing its Shawano store. Other store locations remaining in the region include: Ripon, Plymouth, Waupaca, Iron Mountain, Mich., Menominee, Mich. and Escanaba, Mich.