WHY THIS IS A MUST-READ:
Consider the impact of the expected closure of one of Wayne County’s largest retailers. Compare your thoughts with that of several who responded for this article.

TEXAS TWP. - Reaction to the pending closure of the Kmart at the Route 6 Mall, outside of Honesdale, is widely varied. Many expressed sadness; others said they prefer another store anyway; many said that they were not surprised.

The retailer has been part of the Wayne County shopping experience for over 40 years.

Sears Holdings, which owns both Sears and Kmart stores, announced that on Thursday, January 4, associates at 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores will be closing. On this list is the local Kmart, which is slated to close in “early April.”

The Kmart store near Matamoras in Pike County, however, is NOT on the list for closure.

The announcement from Sears Holding states that the closures are part of their ongoing assessment of productivity. “…As previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members,” Sears Holdings stated.

Eligible associates impact by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart and Sears stores. The number of affected associates was not available, according to Sears Holdings spokesman Howard Riefs. The majority are part-time employees.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as January 12 at the closing stores.

The only other Kmart stores in northeast Pennsylvania which are on the latest closure list are located in Pittston and Hazleton Township, both in Luzerne County.

No Sears stores in northeast Pennsylvania are slated for closure.

Sears acquired Kmart in March 2005. The new entity was named Sears Holdings Corp. The company reported in their 2006 Annual Report that as of February 3, 2007 there were 1,388 Kmart stores across 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

There were 510 Kmart stores in operation as of October 28, 2017.

Reactions

Comments were asked from the general public about their reaction to Kmart’s pending closure and how it impacts them.

“Noooo! I love Kmart!,” Laura Franks stated, upon hearing the news.

“It was just a matter of time,” said Linda Roy.

“They will all be closed eventually.” Jessie Mayfield said. “Just like Bridles, Caldor, Ames, etc.”

“I shop at IGA, I don’t give my [money] to Walmart or Kmart,” said Scott Schmalzle. “They’re big corporations, not local stores. Shop local mom-and-pop stores; support the community.” Regarding the Honesdale Kmart, Schmalzle added, “Thought it closed years ago; [I] didn’t realize it was still open.”

Terri Casolaro Seminuk has been a frequent shopper at Kmart. She commented, “I always go there for school supplies during back to school time and little things at Christmas. It’s a shame to see them go but I’m not surprised. When I was there just before Christmas getting school supplies with my son, he remarked how they didn’t have much and that half their shelves looked like they had been removed.”

“The upkeep hadn’t been there in quite some time. It was only a matter of when especially with well-stocked and employed Kmarts like Dickson City closing,” remarked Jennifer Marie. “Sad to see it go but it’s time for a change. I’d love to see a Target go in its place.”

“Very sad. We always go to Kmart vs. Walmart for certain things, however I noticed it was so bare this holiday season so we just figured it was on the copping block,” Jill Michelle stated.

“Any business that closes is a loss to the community, loss of jobs, loss of incomes to homes and families,” said Christin Krauss. “And now that Sears pulled out of Dickson City we will not be able to get Craftman tools any where near local. Witch isn’t important to a lot of people but to the ones who turn wrenches their return policy on broken tools was comparable to Snapon and Mac. I will miss Kmart bc at least it wasn't Wally World who rips off its employees. Sorry to see it have to go.”

“Love Kmart...too bad. What stupid useless store is coming? Shall we have another boring Target (which basically has what Walmart has but with bigger price tags) or the ridiculously overpriced Kohls?,” commented Cheryl White Frisbee.

Lisa Bonocore stated, “I am so sad to see this store close. It has been in the area forever! This will impact those who had jobs there as well as shoppers in the area who were able to keep their money in the area. It will be a real loss to the area. I just hope that space can be filled so locals don't need to drive further for things they need that Walmart does not carry.”

“Very disappointing! I always went there instead of Walmart!,” Ilene Cherkes Abrahamsen said.

“It should have closed 10 years ago. The place has nothing to offer,” Kevin L.Short offered.

“Not happy about this,” Kathy Brand stated.

“We need a Target,” Hayley Petcshe said.

“How not surprising,” Marie Behn remarked.

“It should have closed 10 years ago,” stated Kevin L. Short. “The place has nothing to offer.”

“…Their prices were ridiculous,” said Doreen Di Bella. “Their clothes overpriced and fell apart. Never staff in any departments.”

Dave Robert cautioned.”It doesn’t end there. Shopping habits have changed dramatically in society. Online shopping with free shipping is the future. Sorry to see stores close, but Main Street U.S.A. and the malls are becoming extinct. Specialty stores are hanging on by their teeth. Mom & Pop stores are all but ancient history.”

Goldi Loxx commented, “I really won’t miss Kmart - but Little Caesars,YES.”

“When do the big sales start?,” asked Sean Herlihy.

 Opened in mid-1970’s

 The “Honesdale Kmart,” as it is commonly known, originated in the mid-1970’s in the older section of the mall, the Route 6 Plaza.This was the same site as the Grant Department Store, which had moved there from downtown Honesdale in 1972, when the Route 6 Plaza first opened.

The exact date is being researched. W. T. Grant Co. was closing stores in 1975, and filed bankruptcy in October of that year. A newspaper reference was found that Kmart was operating in March 1978. It appears Kmart opened here in 1976 or 1977.

In other words, Kmart has been part of the Wayne County story for more than 40 years. Many adults have lived their whole lives here, during that time.

In 1995, the Route 6 Mall section was opened to the right of the Plaza as seen from the highway. Kmart held a grand re-opening on April 6, 1995 in its new, larger location. The store number is #3885. The new store originally offered an automotive garage.

The former site of Kmart is presently the site of Weis Markets.

Major competition arrived in 1997, with the opening of the Honesdale Walmart, across the highway. For over 20 years, however, shoppers have had a choice of two large retail department stores in central Wayne County.