• Kmart closures to slice 101 Little Caesars pizza stations

DETROIT -- Little Caesars likely will lose 101 of its pizza stations located inside 326 Kmart stores slated to close this year.

According to a report in Crains Detroit, Little Caesars also will lose product sales to 138 K-Cafes located in other Kmarts set to be shuttered.

The legendary discount retailer is in its second year of bankruptcy proceedings, but it hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 in April. It is expected to file its reorganization plan on Jan. 31.

In 2002, Little Caesars lost 98 pizza stations when Kmart closed 283 stores.

This year's closures bring the total number of pizza stations lost to 199. According to the Crains report, 307 Little Caesars stations will remain in operation, and sales of the company's products will continue in 763 K-Cafes.

Though contracts between Little Caesars and Kmart expired last August, Lisa Cosnowski, vice president of corporate communication at the Detroit-based pizza chain, told PizzaMarketplace recently that talks between both parties were ongoing. Kmart senior media-relations specialist Julie Fracker told Crains that both companies are operating under the current terms of the latest contracts.

How the closures will impact Little Caesars is unclear. The chain is a privately held entity of Ilitch Holdings Inc., which rarely discloses financial details about its companies.

A 2002 Crains report speculated last year's 98 pizza station closures would cost Little Caesars $8 million in franchise fees alone.

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