It appears to be an end of an era. Kmart, the store known for its discount prices and its “blue light specials” is closing its last two stores in Pennsylvania.
The last two Kmart stores in the state including the last Kmart in the midstate will be closing in Transformco’s latest round of store closures. Transformco is the parent company of Kmart and Sears.
The Kmart store at 2600 N. Willow S. in West Lampeter Township, Lancaster County will close in mid-April and a liquidation sale has already begun.
“It is with a heavy heart and sadness that we must announce that our store will be closing mid-April 2021,” the store wrote on its Facebook page Thursday. “We are beyond grateful to all of our loyal customers over the years in our Willow Street community.”
The Kmart store at 18 Mark Plaza in Edwardsville, Luzerne County near Kingston will also close in mid-April and its liquidation sale began on Thursday.
“After almost 47 years in our community our Edwardsville/Kingston store will be closing come the middle of April, 2021,” the store wrote on its Facebook page. “Our sale will begin Thursday, February 4th.”
Kmart still lists stores in Kingston, Willow Street, Walnutport and Columbia on its website. But the stores in Kingston and Willow Street are closing and the store in Columbia has closed. The store in Walnutport closed last year, according to LehighValleyLive.
In recent years, Kmart has closed stores in the Harrisburg, Hershey, Mechanicsburg, Enola and Carlisle areas as well as stores in York, Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
And a number of those Kmart stores have been redeveloped.
U-Haul purchased the former Kmart in South Middleton Township to open a retail and self-storage facility. In Lower Paxton Township, a former Kmart and a vacant LA Fitness were transformed into an At Home store, a giant home decor store. A former Kmart on the Carlisle Pike in Hampden Township was redeveloped into four stores: Hobby Lobby, Stein Mart, Marshalls and HomeGoods. Stein Mart has since closed. A former Kmart in Derry Township is being redeveloped into a Big Lots, Planet Fitness, T.J. Maxx, Five Below and Where the Wild Things Play. Work is also being done on the former store in East Pennsboro Township. U-Haul has also purchased the former Kmart in East Hempfield Township. At Home also replaced the Kmart in Manheim Township.
After hundreds of closings in recent years, Forbes estimates that there are just 36 full-line Sears stores and 30 Kmart stores down from 489 full-line Sears stores and 360 Kmart stores in 2019.
— Daniel Urie/PennLive via Associated Press