The closing of the Astor Place Kmart store in Manhattan this week is an especially sad moment in the long, long, sad, sad saga of what was once America’s largest retailer. What made this store so special was that it marked a bold move by the company to put a location not only into a major urban city — very uncommon back in the mid-1990s — but in a neighborhood where the idea of big box discounters might seem a disconnect. But the East Village/Greenwich Village site proved to be a wonderful fit and it showed that Kmart, at the time was, as progressive a retailing company as existed in the business.
Of course all of that is ancient history and with only about 20 stores left Kmart is pretty much a mirage, a ghost of what it once was. And it didn’t have to be this way, which is the hardest part. It’s not just Stupid, it’s cruel what management and ownership — Eddie Lampert — did to Kmart. Here’s my memorial: https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2021/07/12/kmart-turns-off-its-last-blue-light-in-manhattan/?sh=4b5f1fadb569