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TROY, MI-A Kmart spokesman says the discount retailer will be closing two more stores–one in Atlanta and another in Missouri–when their leases expire early next year. Kmart Holding Corp.’s Steve Pagnani adds the chain, which closed more than 600 locations during the 15 months it was in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy that ended this past spring, may open new stores in 2005.

The property owners at a Kmart location in Atlanta and in Columbia, MO, want to redevelop the property, Pagnani says, not identifying the property owners. The stores in Atlanta and Missouri are both in the neighborhood of 100,000 sf. The Columbia store will be redeveloped as a Best Buy and Hobby Lobby store. Plans for the Atlanta store were not announced.

Pagnani says the closing are due to decisions made by the stores’ landlords, not because of any financial difficulties at Kmart. Kmart, the nation’s No.3 discount chain, also said last week that it would close a distribution center in Billerica, MA, when its lease on the 630,000-sf building expires in February.

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