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Associated Press, Published March 24 2012

34-year Kmart shopper protests closing

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) — A New Ulm woman who has shopped at her local Kmart store for more than three decades is staging a personal protest on behalf of employees she considers her friends.

Seventy-four-year-old Marge Hames set up again Friday across the street from the New Ulm Kmart, one of 15 stores that Sears Holding plans to close. Hames has two signs that read “Keep Kmart Open” and “These ‘associates’ are friends, neighbors and family.”

Hames tells The Journal (http://bit.ly/GME1TR ) she doubts her protest will change any corporate minds, but she wants to show solidarity with its 50 or so employees, with whom she's developed friendships.

Hames says she'll continue her protest until the store closes its doors for good. That's expected to happen within the next six months.

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Information from: The Journal, http://www.nujournal.com/journal