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(dailynews.com) The Blue Light Special is dimming a little further after Sears Holdings Corp. announced it will shutter 28 Kmart stores, including the one in Valencia.

Longtime customers said they were disappointed to learn the Kmart at 23222 W. Valencia Blvd. is on the list to close.

“They have everything that we need,” customer Paula Dunn said as she and husband Jerry exited the store with a shopping cart full of bags Thursday afternoon. “We don’t like to shop online.”

Dunn said she remembered when the Kmart had a soda fountain in the back that served food.

“I’m really sad!” she said. “It used to be really crowded.”

But times have changed.

On Thursday afternoon, the vast parking lot was quiet and almost empty, unlike at retail centers farther south on Valencia Boulevard, such as the Westfield Valencia Town Center and Creekside Place, with its Barnes & Noble bookstore.

The Kmart on Valencia Boulevard opened in May 1973, according to a Sears Holding Corp. spokesman. It was one of the first big stores in the Santa Clarita Valley and the region’s first big chain retailer. The store survived earlier rounds of closures, including when Kmart underwent bankruptcy reorganization in 2002 that brought about Kmart closures in Palmdale and West Hills.

Paul Hand of Valencia walked out of the Kmart empty handed. He’d been hoping for a deal on garden supplies, anticipating steep price cuts with the impending closure.

“I heard that Kmart was closing, and I was looking for some deals and I really didn’t find them,” he said. He’s not a Kmart regular, but he used to be.

“I used to (shop at Kmart), back East, when it was the only thing around,” he said. Now he buys what he needs at Walmart and Sam’s Club.

Also on the list to close are stores in Bellflower, Hesperia and the Jackson/Martell area, east of Sacramento.

Almost all of the 28 stores set to close, including the four in California, will cease operations in mid-November, Sears said Thursday as it released its second-quarter earnings report. The company said it is downsizing “as we continue to transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.”

Liquidation sales at the closing Kmart stores could start as soon as Aug. 31, the company said. Eligible employees will get severance and can apply for openings at other Kmart or Sears stores.

Thursday’s announcement came on the heels of a series of bleak news from Sears Holdings Corp. Earlier this year, the company closed approximately 180 Sears and Kmart stores and said it plans to close another 150. Those closures are in addition to the 28 closures announced Thursday.

As of the end of July, the company was still operating 1,250 Kmart and Sears stores.

Back in Valencia, Marilyn Gonzalez of Lancaster was surprised to hear news of the store’s falling fortunes. She said the Kmart in her town shuttered three years ago. She stopped by the Valencia Kmart to kill time while she waited for her daughters, who attend College of the Canyons around the corner.

“I find a lot of stuff that is really affordable,” she said. She buys clothes and household supplies at Kmart. Sometimes she shops at Target, but never Walmart. “I hate Walmart,” she said, laughing. “I had a bad experience with Walmart, so I never go to Walmart.”

Terry Moon of Valencia and her friend Helen Perry of North Hollywood walked out carrying a pair of lawn chairs.

“Look at the parking lot. There’s hardly anybody in there shopping,” Moon said. “It used to be so busy.”