This is a little hard to believe for a lot of reasons, but there will very soon be only one Kmart left in the entire state of New Jersey.
Kmart was once a superpower. A chain so big, such a retail juggernaut, it didn’t seem fathomable that it could go away. S. S. Kresge Corp. started in 1899 and was renamed as Kmart in 1977. It’s where every family shopped to save money but no kid admitted if their back-to-school clothes came from there.
Kmart was part of pop culture. Its retail chops were busted in “Rain Man” and scenes from the movie were shot there. Filming at Kmart was also done for “Dawn of the Dead” and “Beetlejuice.” In the Eminem song “Rhyme or Reason” he sang…
Laughing all the way to the bank, lamping in my Kmart mansion, I’m in the style department with a pile in my car ripping the aisle apart
Kmart has just always been there. Like gravity. Like air. Kmart has been in New Jersey as long as we’ve been paying state income tax.
And for as long as I can remember there was always a Kmart on St. Georges Avenue in Avenel right by New Brunswick Avenue. I grew up in Rahway. I bought stuff there as a kid and I had my car tuned up there as an adult. Remember that auto shop at the far end? I drank beer in their parking lot underage. I had ice cream at the Buxton’s across the street and pizza at the little joint in the same Delco Plaza.
It was one of only two remaining Kmarts in the entire state. And it’s closing down for good.
According to nj.com, the store is finished on April 17. Since a bankruptcy filing by their parent company in 2018, there were only 11 locations left in the Garden State and they steadily dwindled away. Now that the second to last one is going to be shuttered this leaves only the Kmart remaining in Westwood, Bergen County.
It’s hard to believe considering at its peak in 1994 Kmart had 2,323 locations throughout the United States. More shocking, the one remaining in Westwood, NJ after April 17 will be one of only three left in the whole country. The others are Miami, Florida and Long Island, New York.
Goodbye, old friend. Will the last one out the door please turn off the blue light?
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now: