Closure of Avenel means there will only be one Kmart left in all of NJ
It’s a little hard to believe for many reasons, but very soon there will only be 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 like it could go away. SS Kresge Corp. started in 1899 and was renamed Kmart in 1977. It was where every family shopped to save money, but no child 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 Eminem’s song “Rhyme or Reason”, he sang…
Laugh all the way to the bank, limp in my Kmart mansion, I’m in the styling department with a stack in my car tearing up the driveway
Kmart has always been there. Like gravity. Like looks. Kmart has been in New Jersey for as long as we pay state income tax.
And as far as I can remember, there was always a Kmart on Saint-Georges Avenue in Avenel just off New Brunswick Avenue. I grew up in Rahway. I used to buy stuff there as a kid and had my car serviced there as an adult. Remember that auto shop at the end? I drank beer in their minor parking lot. I ate ice cream at Buxton’s across the street and pizza at the small restaurant in the same Delco Plaza.
It was one of only two remaining Kmarts in the entire state. And it closes for good.
According to nj.com, the store is finished on April 17. Since their parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2018, there were only 11 locations left in the Garden State and they have been gradually decreasing. Now that the penultimate one is going to be closed, only the Kmart remains in Westwood, Bergen County.
It’s hard to believe considering that at its peak in 1994, Kmart had 2,323 locations across the United States. More shockingly, whoever stays in Westwood, NJ after April 17 will be one of only three left nationwide. The others are Miami, Florida and Long Island, New York.
Goodbye, my old friend. Last one through the door please turn off the blue light?
The opinions expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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