Soon there will be only three open Kmart stores in the U.S.
The Kmart store in Avenel, New Jersey, 15 miles south of New York City, is the latest store scheduled to permanently close on Saturday.
SB360 Capital Partners is managing the store closing sale, according to the liquidation firm’s website.
Once it shutters, the number of Kmarts in the U.S. – once well over 2,000 –will be down to three in the continental U.S. and a handful of stores elsewhere, according to multiple reports, in a retail world now dominated by Walmart, Target and Amazon.
For now, Kmart stores in the continental U.S., continue to operate in Westwood, New Jersey; Bridgehampton, on New York’s Long Island; and Miami, Florida.
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Transformco, which owns Kmart and Sears, did not respond to an email seeking comment, and a phone number listed for the company was not taking messages, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Final days for Kmart and Sears?
Both Sears and Kmart were owned by Sears Holdings, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018 and narrowly escaped liquidation in early 2019. They were sold to their longtime investor and CEO, Eddie Lampert, who has kept them alive on a shoestring budget under the company name Transformco.
Together, Sears and Kmart have closed more than 3,500 stores and cut about 250,000 jobs in the past 15 years.
Kmart’s decline has been slow but steady, brought about by years of falling sales, changes in shopping habits and the looming shadow of Walmart, which coincidentally began its life within months of Kmart’s founding in 1962.
“Kmart was part of America,” said Michael Lisicky, a Baltimore-based author who has written several books on U.S. retail history. “Everybody went to Kmart, whether you liked it or not. They had everything. You had toys. You had sporting goods. You had candy. You had stationery. It was something for everybody. This was almost as much of a social visit as it was a shopping visit. You could spend hours here. And these just dotted the American landscape over the years.”
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The Sears store locator website also was not accurate as of Monday. It still listed locations that have already shuttered. For instance, it still lists a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sears that the company said in a news release in January was closed.
In that January release, Transformco said its “go-forward store strategy for Sears and Kmart is to operate a diversified portfolio consisting of a small number of larger, premier stores with a larger number of small format stores – combined with its Shop Your Way rewards program, online marketplace and buy online, pick up in store capabilities.”
The statement said the company also “will continue to explore both Hometown Stores and Home & Life stores in cities and towns that previously had larger format stores.”
The following are the remaining Kmart locations.
Florida’s last Kmart store:
- Miami: 14091 SW 88th St.
New Jersey Kmart stores, one closing:
- Avenel: 1550 St George Ave. (Closing Saturday)
- Westwood: 700 Broadway
Last New York Kmart store:
- Bridgehampton: 2044 Montauk Highway
Contributing: Associated Press