AUBURN, Maine — Maine's last two Kmarts are slated to close before the year's end. 

The stores, located at 603 Center St. in Auburn, near the mall, and at 58 Western Ave. in Augusta, not far from the Memorial Circle rotary, are scheduled to shutter in mid-December, according to a company spokesman.

The department store filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and after merging with Sears in 2005, was part of another bankruptcy filing last October.

Kmart's spokesman called the decision difficult, and announced that liquidation sales were expected to begin later this month:

"After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Kmart stores in Auburn and Augusta, Maine. Liquidation sales are expected to begin in mid-September and the stores are planned to close by mid-December.  We encourage customers to continue shopping on Kmart.com for all their product needs."

Kmart in Madawaska closed late last year as part of parent company Sears Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Kmart in Bangor closed in 2017.

It was unclear how many jobs would be affected.