BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Kmart store at 1209 Boardman Poland Rd in Boardman will close to the public in mid-April after 48 years in business, according to a press release sent Tuesday.

Until then, the store will remain open for customers and begin its liquidation sale on January 24.

The release, which was from Sears Corporate Communications Director Howard Riefs, stated that the closures are part of a plan to cut costs and re-focus the company’s investments.

The store has 81 employees. Those associates that are eligible will receive severance pay and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.  Most of the associates are part time and/or hourly.

Customers with layaway contracts at the store can pay off the contract early, or transfer their layaway contract to a neighboring store or online.

Bill Kutlick, owner of Kutlick Realty, said the corner of South Avenue and Route 224 in Boardman — where Kmart is located — can now be redeveloped. Also located on the corner is Chick-fil-A, which is relocating across the street, and an old diner.

“I think it’s one of those sites in Boardman that presents a lot of opportunity, and if it closes down, it’s a big parcel of land that’s waiting for some reinvestment,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree.

Loree said developers have been interested in the corner but were waiting to see what the Boardman Kmart would do first.