Attention Kmart shoppers: Last Manhattan store is closed

Once-mighty discount chain still has two Bronx outlets

The Astor Place Kmart location (Google Maps)
The Astor Place Kmart location (Google Maps)

After close to 25 years in business, the Kmart located at Astor Place in Manhattan has closed its doors for the final time.

Sunday marked the last day in business for Kmart at 770 Broadway. According to local blog EV Grieve, employees at the store were not warned of the closing until Friday. Signs marking a “Total Inventory Blowout” filled the store over its final weekend.

The location opened in November 1996, when it was one of more than 2,000 Kmart stores in the United States. That number has dwindled to fewer than 40, as the retailer has struggled to compete with the Amazons and Targets of the world.

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Transformco, the parent company of Kmart, announced the closing of the other Manhattan location, at Penn Plaza, in February 2020. A liquidation sale for the store was held through May of that year.

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Forbes reported that deliveries to the Astor Place location had slowed in the months prior to its closing, frustrating employees as foot traffic waned. In 2018, the store was consolidated from three levels to two.

In January 2018, Vornado Realty Trust reportedly paid $46 million to Kmart in what appeared to be a lease buyout, potentially to expand Facebook’s presence at 770 Broadway. The retailer remained open for another three years, though.

Only two Kmart locations remain in New York City, both in the Bronx.

[EV Grieve] — Holden Walter-Warner