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Published: Fri, September 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



STAFF/WIRE REPORTS

TROY, Mich -- Kmart Corp. is closing two distribution centers but will continue to operate its distribution center in Bazetta Township.

The discount retailer is closing centers in New Jersey and California and relocating the work to former ToysRUs.com warehouses in Pennsylvania and California, said Steve Tagnani, a Kmart spokesman.

Operations will continue normally for the Bazetta distribution center, which employs about 750, he said.

The local center will be receiving some technology upgrades as Kmart upgrades operating software throughout its distribution network to make its supply chain more efficient, he said.

Kmart said the two warehouses being closed are aging, and moving the work will improve productivity and the flow of products to stores.

Jobs: Tagnani said company officials do not expect a resulting net loss of jobs, though officials expect turnover to occur because of the distances between the old centers and the new ones.

One facility is moving from North Bergen, N.J., to Chambersburg, Pa., a distance of about 200 miles. The other center is moving about 45 miles from Carson, Calif., to Mira Loma, Calif.

Tagnani said the number of affected jobs will not be known for several months and will be partially determined by union negotiations.

Kmart will record accounting charges of about $195 million, or $124 million after taxes, over the next three quarters. About $130 million is related to computer software and hardware that will no longer be used, and $65 million to close the two warehouses.




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