NEW ULM - After a long and emotionally fraught process of selling down its merchandise, the New Ulm Kmart will be shuttering its doors today for the final time.
Exact hours for the store are uncertain since it will stay open until all the product is sold. The store will open at its usual 8 a.m. start time and it is expected to go until its normal 8 p.m. close time. However, if all remaining product is sold off before that time, the store may close down.
Advertisements have listed sales ranging from 50 to 80 percent off on remaining items. Shelving and other similar items are also being sold.
The event will be a source of sadness for many New Ulm resident.
Marge Hames, the New Ulm resident who took up protesting the store's closure, said she'll be carrying on her mission until the final hours. She started protesting on March 23 and has been outside the store's grounds everyday since, except for Sundays and Easter. She said she has no illusion her 78 day effort will stop the closing process. She said that it was really about showing support for the store's employees and expressing gratitude for decades of service.
She said she will be at her post from 11 a.m. to when the store closes, with a short break from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m for personal obligations.
"I don't know what I'll do next. Maybe I'll work on cleaning some the house that I needed to catch up on," said Hames.
Kmart employees have been prohibited from talking about Hames to media outlets due to company policy. But, she been invited to the luncheon held today for the remaining employees. She said they employees invited her because they consider her family.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)