Kmart manager's emotional farewell speech foreshadows what could happen to 68,000 Sears employees if the company liquidates

Facebook/Joshua EnglertKmart manager Joshua Englert posted a heartbreaking tribute to his closing store after working for the company for 18 years.
  • Kmart manager Joshua Englert made an emotional tribute to his store moments before it closed permanently. He posted video of the tribute to Facebook.
  • “The retail environment – it’s pretty stressful. But we’ve always worked together to get through those stressful times: the inventories, the Black Fridays, the long lines for Tickle Me Elmos and PlayStation 4s, when we only had three of them,” he said.
  • Thousands more employees will soon face Englert’s fate. Kmart parent company Sears Holdings said last week when it filed for Chapter 11 bankrutpcy protection that it planned to close another 142 stores before the end of the year.
  • If Sears fails to emerge from bankruptcy, the company could liquidate and close its remaining 700 stores, leaving Sears’ 68,000 employees out of work.

Joshua Englert worked for Kmart for 18 years until his store in McMurray, Pennsylvania, closed this month.

Five minutes before the store was scheduled to permanently close, Englert made an emotional tribute to Kmart’s customers and employees over the store’s loudspeaker.

“Attention Kmart shoppers … our McMurray Kmart will be closing for the last time in just five minutes,” Englert says while apparently holding back tears, according to a video of the tribute that he posted to Facebook.

“I wanted to take this opportunity not to sell you 40-cent plaid skirts or five-cent panties, but instead thank you for supporting a lifetime of memories,” he continued. “I am the man I am today because of the people that I have met here at Kmart.”

He recalled long lines during holidays and busy Black Friday sales.

“The retail environment – it’s pretty stressful. But we’ve always worked together to get through those stressful times: the inventories, the Black Fridays, the long lines for Tickle Me Elmos and PlayStation 4s, when we only had three of them,” he said. “Thank you deeply to the Kmart McMurray team, you guys have made it all worthwhile. Once again, the time is 4:25, your McMurray Kmart will be closing at 4:30, thank you.”

Englert is one of thousands of Kmart employees who have lost their jobs within the last year, as its parent company, Sears Holdings, carries out mass store closures across the US.

Thousands more employees will soon face the same fate. The company said last week when it filed for Chapter 11 bankrutpcy protection that it planned to close another 142 stores before the end of the year.

If Sears fails to emerge from bankruptcy, the company could liquidate and close its reamining 700 stores, leaving Sears’ 68,000 employees out of work.

Read more about Sears’ bankruptcy:

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