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Kmart’s dwindling presence in the Buffalo Niagara region is shrinking even further, with the retailer planning to close its Depew store April 14, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The Kmart at 1460 French Road near Transit Road employs 68 workers, who will be given the chance to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores in the area, said Howard Riefs, a Kmart spokesman.

“This store is being closed because the lease was not renewed,” Riefs said. “The store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers.”

The closing is a continuation of the steady downsizing of Kmart, which said last year that it would close 60 of the 1,305 U.S. Kmart stores it ran at the beginning of 2012, as its sales have declined. At the same time, Kmart’s owner, Sears Holding Corp., said it would close 34 of its 834 Sears stores and dozens of other smaller, specialty stores in a cost-cutting moves.

Despite the downsizing, Sears Holdings said earlier this month that it still expects to lose between $721 million and $801 million during 2012 as sales fell at both its Sears and Kmart chains. Sales at stores open for at least a year fell by 3.7 percent at Kmart last year, while Sears sales slid by 1.6 percent, mainly due to weak consumer electronics sales.

After the Depew store closes, Kmart will have four stores remaining in the region – West Seneca, Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Niagara Falls – as well as a store in Batavia.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com