Kmart closing more stores, 2 left in New Jersey
The slow death spiral of Kmart continues with news that the once-dominant discount retailer will soon be down to just six stores in the U.S., including two in New Jersey. When Sears purchased it out of bankruptcy in 2005, there were 1,400 stores.
According to News 12 New Jersey, the two remaining New Jersey locations are in Avenel and Westwood.
There are now more Kmarts in the Virgin Islands than in any one of the 50 U.S. states.
Kmart traces its beginnings back to the 19th century when a man named Sebastian Spering Kresge opened a five and dime in downtown Detroit, MI. Under the Kmart brand, which it adopted in 1962, it came to dominate the discount sector of retail, with its signature “blue light specials.”
It struggled to compete with stores like Walmart and Target, though, and filed for bankruptcy. Sears, another troubled retailer, bought it out of bankruptcy in 2005, but Sears Holdings went into bankruptcy itself in 2018.
Sears has also been closing stores, with only one New Jersey location (in Jersey City) listed on its website.
According to CNN, one of the reasons for the latest round of Kmart closings is the lack of workers. Just like the rest of retail, they have been having trouble staffing their stores, with the added disadvantage of having a murky future. Who wants to go to work at a place that might soon be out of business?
It now appears to just be a matter of time before two formerly mighty brands, Kmart and Sears, disappear from the landscape entirely.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.